Saturday, August 21, 2010

And here's something you don't see much in the Buddhist Blogosphere...

I admit I haven't been following this at all, but it is clear that this isn't just pro-Chinese propaganda.

Regarding recent scandals in Western Buddhism, I think some folks haven't received an appropriate amount of attention, and I am still amazed by the reluctance to have any criticism of the Dalai Lama in the Western Buddhist blogosphere.

The notes on the Youtube site say it comes from January 5th, 1998, but if you look around evidently this is still a very big thing in the Tibetan community.

As I've said this is a continuing controversy:

I realize I'm writing on an event over 2 years old, but to take a fresh look at this, especially in light of recent scandals, look at Barbara's Buddhism blog post on the subject from around that time.

I can't tell you how much I don't want to get mixed up in the Dalai Lama-Shugden controversy. Unfortunately, hundreds of Dalai Lama supporters and Shugden devotees clashed in the streets of Manhattan yesterday afternoon and had to be separated by police. I can't very well ignore that. So here goes...

At a time when the majority of monks from Lhasa's three largest monasteries are in prison or detention camps, and possibly being tortured, it shouldn't be hard to understand why some Tibetan Buddhists might be infuriated by the Shugden protesters, as His Holiness's Radio City audience was. The Shugden cult is undermining the fragile coherence of the Tibetan diaspora and the future of Tibetan Buddhism itself. And for what?

If you ask the Shugden culties, as I keep doing, why they don't just break with institutional Tibetan Buddhism and go their own way, you get no answer. Truly, if the point were worship of Shugden, there is absolutely nothing stopping NKT and the rest from setting up a new sect and doing whatever they like. Then they can worship Mickey Mouse phones for all I care.

There are, like most of these things, a political backstory, which neither Barbara nor I for that matter, have the knowledge to explore.

But notice Barbara's language here: implicit within is the cult-like certainty that the Dalai Lama can do no wrong. I mean, yeah, right, people have been getting death threats for opposing the Dalai Lama, why should they be complaining?

1 comment:

Lineageholder said...

Thanks mumon for bringing this disgraceful case of ostracism to light again. I am a Western Shugden practitioner and I believe that everyone has the right to religious freedom. Shugden practitioners in India today are still banned from entering shops, from receiving medical treatment and from receiving travel permits, so it hasn't gone away. I am still shocked how uncritical Western Buddhists have been of the Dalai Lama given clear evidence of religious persecution by him and his followers. I have no explanation why this issue is being ignored, especially since Tibetans are critical of the human rights record of China, but ignore what the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan Government in Exile are doing to some members of their own community!