Some of you might know I’ve an active interest in Buddhism. It’s worth knowing a few things such as commented here. I’ll quote big chunks, because he’s more eloquent than me on this subject! I feel the need to put this out there because the western media aren’t really covering the issue in any sufficient detail—and as with any subject you might know enough about, the media do a poor job in covering things well.
So why are Buddhists demonstrating against the Dalai Lama? Because, over the past decade, the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan Government in exile have been spearheading a drive to persuade Tibetans, and the wider Tibetan Buddhist community, to stop their involvement in the practice of a particular Buddhist deity called Dorje Shugden.
Now, the word ‘deity’ in Buddhism means the same as ‘buddha’; Dorje Shugden has historically been viewed as an enlightened being, on the same level as the buddha who taught in ancient India.
Many high Lamas in Tibet praised the practice of Dorje Shudgen; these Lamas included someone called Trijang Rinpoche, one of the current Dalai Lama’s tutors (now deceased). It’s safe to say that until recently, the practice has been revered and respected by generations of Buddhists, and has done no harm to anyone.
Despite all this though, the Dalai Lama is encouraging Tibetans to abandon the practice on the grounds that it harms the cause of Tibetan freedom, and is ’spirit worship’. He has not revealed evidence for these claims, despite repeated requests from Buddhist practitioners who are concerned about the mounting persecution and violence that’s happening as a result of the Dalai Lama’s efforts to destroy the practice. This persecution includes the refusal to grant ID cards to Tibetans who will not give up the practice, refusal to admit the children of Dorje Shugden practitioners to schools in the exiled Tibetan community, and death threats against those who continue with the practice.
There’s a campaign worth being aware of at the Western Shugden Society and videos like the one below showing some of the real situation faced by many Buddhist practitioners. Stay with it, and there are some more you can follow on this series on YouTube. Particularly moving is the second part.