Several of my friends have approached me with eagerness to say, “The Dalai Lama is coming to Cincinnati! Are you going?” I remain neutral and answer that H.H. the Dalai Lama has requested that anyone from my lineage, not attend his teachings. “What! Why?”
Because of a hundreds-of-years-old conflict concerning a certain Dharma protector (protecting the words and knowledge of the teachings of the Buddha) named Dorje Shugden. Many years ago, H.H. the Dalai Lama—a wonderful man who has done much for the world—wrote praises and poems revering Dorje Shugden. Then he changed his mind, and announced that Dorje Shugden is a demon. He asked that anyone revering Dorje Shugden (as my teachers do, and as I do), not come to his teachings.
Many negative events occurred following this pronouncement, which have come close to violence and death in the Tibetan Community. Nonetheless, these people without a land of their own, are divided against each other.
The saddest event came about by way of an order given by H.H. the Dalai Lama, that my teachers’ home monastery in Southern India, Gaden Shartse Monastery housing and feeding and schooling thousands of monks, was to send all the monks revering Dorje Shugden onto the streets: no food or shelter was to be given to them. This action left hundreds of monks and nuns homeless.
The Mongolian, American and Tibetan support for these outcasts enabled them to build an entirely new monastery, also in Southern India, which had its formal opening in 2008(?). There is a Dorje Shugden Society to be found on a website.
This news is vastly unexposed, yet my teachers have been denied entrance to H.H. the Dalai Lama’s teachings anywhere; one of my special teachers was in the middle of a crowd of hecklers coming close to violence, so much so, that the police had to put my teacher and his fellow monks on a bus to protect them.
I try not to get depressed or disillusioned about this, because the words of the Buddha are pure and good, just as the words of the Catholic faith are merciful. Yet look at what is happening in the Catholic Church with its many child-molesting priests. Are there similarities here? Humanity means human frailty, and H.H. the Dalai Lama is no exception. I wish him a long life, happiness and prosperity. And I will continue my Dharma practice with joyous effort.