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Kadampa Group

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Comments

  • BrigidBrigid Veteran
    edited December 2006
    If you go back to that link, LFA, and look at the left side there is a list of topics under the topic of "Dholggyal (Shugden)". Click on the one just beneath the "Dhogyal (Shugden)" link that says "Three Main Reasons" and you'll find what you're looking for. The next link is "Speeches by His Holiness" and that will explain the entire controversy in his own words. It's very interesting stuff. When you want more info from other sources just type into Goodle "controversy new kadampa tradition buddhism" and I bet you'll get tons of stuff.

    Research it all as much as you can, especially since there's so much controversy surrounding the NKT. You want to have your eyes wide open if you decide to go to the local center where you are. If you're forewarned you'll be forearmed and if you do end up going to the NKT center you'll be able to separate the good from the questionable much more easily. Nothing's ALL bad, right? I'm very leery of the NKT but that doesn't mean that someone else won't get something good out of it. But you have to do your homework with any group that's considered controversial when it comes to Buddhism. Happy researching!

    If you're too busy with family stuff right now, you could just let me know and I could find some pages for you if you like. I'm pretty freed up time wise so feel free to take advantage of the offer. I love to research, too. If you ever meet a research geek tell them you know me and they'll bow down, 'cuz I'm their queen!! lol!!
  • edited December 2006
    I have been going to NKT meditation classes for near two years now. And all they are, are an introductionary class. Dorje Shugden has never been brought up, except when I mentioned it in regards to the controversy that it and the other problems have been voiced. And the teacher and assistant didn't know what I was talking about.
    LFA, I think if you go you will have a good time. But for the one time that there was a problem, which was the cause of this particular thread, the teachers are there to guide you through the basics.
    And if I researched right, if you go, you will be learning from a Nun and not a lay person like I am, so hopefully will be taught by someone knowledgeable.
    As Brigid says, do your research. Do ask Her or even me if you want to assist you in looking.

    (As a side note, as I know I sound near brainwashed by the NKT! LOL)

    Even though my teacher is one of my spiritual guides, it hasn't stopped me from reading other authors (All NKT books are written by Geshe Gyatso) and I have openly shown the books to her and let her know that I am also studying Paganism and Hinduism. All due to the fact that I intend to keep an open mind.
  • BrigidBrigid Veteran
    edited December 2006
    An open, flexible mind...that's where it's at!
  • edited December 2006
    I found an interesting article, or rather an open letter to a newspaper, from Kelsang Gyatso about the DL death threats...

    OPEN LETTER FROM GESHE KELSANG GYATSO TO WESLEY PRUDEN, EDITOR IN CHIEF, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

    PRESS STATEMENT --
    Nov. 25, 2002 - LOS ANGELES, Calif. /PRnetwire.com/
    http://www.send2press.com/PRnetwire/pr_02_1125-dalailama.shtml

    I am writing to you concerning the article printed in your newspaper entitled Dalai Lama faced with death threats (23rd November 2002). The information given in this article is completely untrue; I have evidence to prove it is false information.

    I believe you have given information publicly without first carefully checking the validity of the statements you printed. By publicly stating the New Kadampa Tradition (NKT) and myself have a connection with the recent death threats made to the Dalai Lama and with the previous Dharamsala murders, you have caused serious damage to the development of over 450 NKT Buddhist Centres throughout the world -- this is your responsibility. Saying such things may have some purpose for you but the development of this Buddhist Tradition, the NKT, will seriously suffer as a result.

    The NKT is a Western Buddhist community which is completely independent from Shugden groups in India, Nepal and other countries; we have absolutely no political affiliations. We are not against the Dalai Lama personally and never have been but we previously simply requested him to stop his ban of Dorje Shugden worship; this was a request for the basic human right of religious freedom. At the same time we also publicly clarified what is the true nature and function of this popular Buddhist deity. However in October 1998 we decided to completely stop being involved in this Shugden issue because we realized that in reality this is a Tibetan political problem and not the problem of Buddhism in general or the NKT. We made our decision public at this time -- 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.

    Your correspondent, Shaikh Azizur Rahman, is clearly mistaken because: (1) since 1998 the NKT and myself have completely stopped being involved in the Shugden issue at any level, as explained above; (2) the BBC (November 16th Tibetan exiles fear increasing tensions) reports that police in Dharamsala are investigating an extremist Hindu group about these death threats; (3) "World Tibet Network News" (from the Canada Tibet Committee, October 16th) reports that the threatening posters were signed by an unknown group called the "Himachal Liberation Front".

    We have two possibilities:

    1. You can publicly apologize and withdraw your false statements and accusations and print an article which must be based on my above letter on the front page of your newspaper with a similar impact to the article entitled Dalai Lama faced with death threats (23rd November 2002) -- the article which contained false information. In this way your readers will receive a balanced interpretation of this situation and it will show clearly that you have considered and presented both sides equally.

    2. If you do not accept to publicly apologize and withdraw your false statements and accusations, and to print an article based on my letter as detailed in point (1), then I have no choice but to engage in legal action.
  • edited December 2006
    and another....

    False Accusations Against the Innocent
    http://www.cesnur.org/testi/fr99/gkg.htm
    Letter to the editor in response to the article 'Cult Mystery'
    that appeared in Newsweek International, the 28th of April 97,
    and in Newsweek USA, 5th of May 97

    Allow me to introduce myself; my name is Geshe Kelsang Gyatso. Since July of last year NKT people, including myself, have remained peacefully without any further involvement in the Dorje Shugden controversy. We received messages from many people, including some Tibetans in London, thanking us for leaving the controversy in peace and indicating their appreciation. Now we are very surprised by this article in Newsweek, which includes very unpleasant quotations from Robert Thurman and HH the Dalai Lama, and which causes new problems to arise.

    We find that most of the information in this article is false. Amongst other things, for example, it says that the First Dalai Lama was Je Tsongkhapa's nephew. We believe that Je Gendundrub became the First Dalai Lama. Are you saying that Je Gendundrub was Je Tsongkhapa's nephew? If so, this is incorrect.

    Robert Thurman is quoted as saying: "I think there's no doubt that Shugden was behind the killings." Of course, killing people is very bad, and I utterly condemn these appalling murders, but by reading the letter addressed to HH the Dalai Lama known as the 'Mongoose Canine Letter', we can clearly understand that HH the Dalai Lama has many enemies, so why are only Shugden supporters suspected? It is a great pity that Lobsang Gyatso who was a 70-year old Geshe died in the most horrible of circumstances, seemingly because HH the Dalai Lama has many enemies.

    Thurman continues: "It would not be unfair to call Shugdens the Taliban of Tibetan Buddhism." 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. But since HH the Dalai Lama encouraged people to stop worshipping Dorje Shugden, claiming that this practice is bad, we have been insulted as 'sectarian' and 'fanatic', and have received constant criticism, humiliation, and threats from many people. In this way, we are indeed becoming as Geshe Dragpa Gyaltsen says, like the Jews of Tibetan Buddhism - victims of irrational persecution.

    Many thousands of disciples of Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche, the Spiritual Guide of the present Dalai Lama, have suffered under this treatment but we do not wish to give up this practice because it is a commitment received from our root Gurus, and because we know from our own experience that it is a very meaningful practice for the development of spiritual realizations. So now we are in a very sad and difficult situation.

    Thurman also says: "Once you get involved (in the NKT), you're told you have to devote your lives to the cult, because the god gets very angry if you don't attend to him every day. It's really bad stuff, the way they're draining money out of people." This is completely untrue: can Thurman please give the name of even one person within the NKT who says this nonsense, and can he provide proof of a single instance of the NKT pressuring anyone to give money?

    HH the Dalai Lama says: "That cult is actually destroying the freedom of religious thought. Say I want to practise Nyingma. They say this Protector will harm me." This is also completely untrue. We would like to ask HH the Dalai Lama: who are these Shugden practitioners saying these meaningless things? His words are causing disharmony between Shugden practitioners and Nyingma practitioners. Why is HH the Dalai Lama creating this new problem? Until now there have been no problems between Gelugpas and Nyingmapas, and there has been no arguing or criticism. Some scholars debate with each other, such as the well-known Gelugpa scholar Yonten Gyatso and Dongthog Tulku, a scholar from another tradition, who conducted a debate by letter over a number of years. They have written many books replying to each other's assertions, but this does not mean they are criticising each other. They are simply clarifying the doctrines of their own traditions, with good motivation. There is nothing wrong with this. I would like to ask: what is the problem between the Nyingma and Gelug traditions? There is none. The majority of people from both traditions naturally live in harmony, so why is HH the Dalai Lama destroying this harmony by saying things like "Shugdens say you should not even touch a Nyingma document"? Although we concentrate on our own tradition we respect all other Buddhist traditions, including the Nyingma, and we rejoice very much in their sincere practice.

    The article says: "the Yellow Hats were far more grand than the austere Red Hats in their clothes and magnificent palaces, but the Dorje Shugden sect would become grander still." Again, this is untrue. The majority of Gelugpa practitioners, including Shugden practitioners, live simply and practise sincerely and are not interested in politics. Within the exile Tibetan community, it is HH the Dalai Lama alone who has power. He controls every aspect of Tibetan society.

    The article also says that the NKT has been "denounced by the London press and HH the Dalai Lama as a cult that fleeces its own followers". One or two English newspapers in 1996 made claims of financial wrong-doing by the NKT. These claims were unsubstantiated and we deny them entirely. What proof does HH the Dalai Lama have for saying this?

    HH the Dalai Lama claims: "Nobody would pray to Buddha for better business, but they go to Shugden for such favours - and this is where it has become like spirit worship." This is not true. Many Tibetans pray to other Buddhas such as Tara and make prayers to other Dharma Protectors for success in business and for the removal of obstacles. Why are Shugden practitioners singled out? Particularly, in the Kadampa tradition we do not pray for worldly attainments such as wealth, reputation, success in business, etc., we pray for the welfare of all beings and the attainment of spiritual realizations.

    HH the Dalai Lama is also contradicting himself. He previously regarded Dorje Shugden as a Buddha, and composed verses of praise to him that can still be seen today. It is his responsibility to resolve this contradiction.

    Now, my main point is that people should know that all the present problems regarding Dorje Shugden within the Mahayana Buddhist world have no creator other than HH the Dalai Lama. He is the source of all these problems because it was he who first publicly claimed that Dorje Shugden is an evil spirit who harms both himself and Tibetan independence, and many Tibetans believe what he said. It is HH the Dalai Lama's wish to destroy the practice of Dorje Shugden, and to fulfil his wish Tibetan people within the exile community have removed statues and destroyed them, coercing other Tibetans to abandon this practice. If HH the Dalai Lama had not engaged in this policy of religious discrimination there would have been no basis for these problems. I clearly understand that the responsibility for this lies with HH the Dalai Lama.

    If the practice of Dorje Shugden is harmful then it follows that Je Phabongkhapa was not an authentic Buddhist master, and if he was not then there is no doubt that his heart disciples, Kyabje Ling Rinpoche and Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche (the Senior and Junior Tutors of HH the Dalai Lama) were also not authentic. These three Lamas are the most important Gelugpa Lamas of recent times. If these three are not pure Teachers then there is no doubt that the entire practice of the Gelug Tradition is invalid. This is the main issue that needs clarification.

    HH the Dalai Lama alone has the power to solve all these problems. If he stops completely his policy of religious discrimination and gives religious freedom, these problems will be solved automatically. I believe that he will do this soon because I believe that he has compassion for his people.

    Please do not think I am criticising HH the Dalai Lama in a negative way; I am writing this simply to clarify the situation.

    Geshe Kelsang Gyatso
    Spiritual Director of the New Kadampa Tradition
  • SimonthepilgrimSimonthepilgrim Veteran
    edited December 2006
    A useful article, LFA, thank you.

    See how these Buddhists love each other!
  • edited December 2006
    A useful article, LFA, thank you.

    See how these Buddhists love each other!

    Honestly I think most of the "problems" are because of the media. Media is biased, always. Whether it be run by liberals or conservatives, it is going to have the bias of that media group. This whole thing has really been weighing on my mind. The NKT center is one of the few that are closer to me, and their core teachings are closer to what I am enjoying about the path. Obviously their stance (which MAY be media slanted) on HHDL is concerning to me as HHDL is a very influential person in my life. But didn't the Buddha say to question everything? To test it for ourselves?
  • SimonthepilgrimSimonthepilgrim Veteran
    edited December 2006
    Honestly I think most of the "problems" are because of the media. Media is biased, always. Whether it be run by liberals or conservatives, it is going to have the bias of that media group. This whole thing has really been weighing on my mind. The NKT center is one of the few that are closer to me, and their core teachings are closer to what I am enjoying about the path. Obviously their stance (which MAY be media slanted) on HHDL is concerning to me as HHDL is a very influential person in my life. But didn't the Buddha say to question everything? To test it for ourselves?

    I think the important truth is that while Buddhism may teach the Dharma, the Dhama does not teach Buddhism.
  • edited December 2006
    A useful article, LFA, thank you.

    See how these Buddhists love each other!

    Enough said thanks Simon. Maybe he should spearhead building a Sangha in Iraq.
  • PalzangPalzang Veteran
    edited December 2006
    I think you have to consider the source of these articles, LFA. Since Geshe Kelsang is the founder of the NKT, he is hardly an unbiased reporter. His claims to have "abandoned" the Dorje Shugden issue is a bald-faced lie. He still trots out his troops to demonstrate against the Dalai Lama whenever possible, and he still cranks out the propaganda (which is really what these "letters" are). The fact that his group is uniformly rejected by all schools of Tibetan Buddhism should tell you something. Even Snow Lion, which goes to great lengths to be representative of all schools of Buddhism, Tibetan in particular but others as well, refuses to sell his books.

    You quote the Buddha, LFA, about questioning everything and testing to make sure the path is right for you. I would offer the same advice about NKT.

    Palzang
  • edited January 2007
    ...and honestly nothing whatsoever was pushed on me. There was no mention of the whole Dorje Shugden ordeal, noone pressuring me into buying books, etc. It was a very nice time with the resident nun of the center. They were offering the eight Mahayana precepts so that's what made me want to go, I figured taking the precepts would help my practice and really kick start my recent study of bodhichitta. After taking the precepts the nun took myself and the other person who came out to coffee and we talked as if we were all old friends. I did not have a bad experience at all and will give it another shot until something that I feel is "fishy" comes up. At that time I'll question it. Another reason I really wanted to take the precepts today was because it is Martin Luther King Jr's Day and thought it might have a little more "symbolism" to it. But that story is for another time... Let's just say I've come a long way.
  • buddhafootbuddhafoot Veteran
    edited January 2007
    Well...

    I, for one, am glad that LFA posted his experience.

    I like hearing of good experiences.

    -bf
  • edited January 2007
    Thanks BF! :)
    buddhafoot wrote:
    Well...

    I, for one, am glad that LFA posted his experience.

    I like hearing of good experiences.

    -bf
  • BrigidBrigid Veteran
    edited January 2007
    Me too, LFA. I also think it's beautiful that you celebrated Dr. King's birthday by taking the precepts.

    If you keep your ears and eyes open and continue to study and practice what the Buddha himself taught you'll be able to see through any false teachers you come across.
  • edited January 2007
    Thanks Brigid. And that's exactly what I will do. Knowing what to look out for per say will help me single out and question the things that I don't agree with.
    Brigid wrote:
    Me too, LFA. I also think it's beautiful that you celebrated Dr. King's birthday by taking the precepts.

    If you keep your ears and eyes open and continue to study and practice what the Buddha himself taught you'll be able to see through any false teachers you come across.
  • edited April 2007
    a non-biased thread.

    I myself have been a NKT practioner for almost 2 years and can say,if you stop trying to find faults,you will.

    In essense,everythign is faultless,and so this whole controversy is a figment.

    Blessings,
    David
  • cazcaz Veteran
    edited August 2009
    It shames me to see that those who claim not to be sectarian are the biggest advocators of them all.
  • kennykenny Explorer
    edited August 2009
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  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator
    edited August 2009
    Couldn't agree more.
    tell you what, given that we now have more than enough views and opinions on Kadampa, in more than one thread, I think we'll drop the subject.
This discussion has been closed.