The Dalai Lama, who has been considered a voice of peace and understanding for many of us in the Western world, has been doing a series of public talks in California on topics such as compassion, non-violence, and business ethics
By Sharon Schloss
INGLEWOOD, CA (INTELLIHUB) — The 14th Dalia Lama, although retired since 2011, is still active and influential in Tibetan politics. He was the head of state for the Central Tibetan Administration, the Tibetan government in exile. The people of Tibet, having lost their homes and freedom after the Chinese takeover, are in a very vulnerable state and rely heavily on the words of the Dalai Lama.
What many don’t know about the Dalai Lama is that how he presents himself is quite different from how he rules over his people. He has been creating a division between different sects of Buddhism to the point of causing religious apartheid in the Tibetan community. The Sakya and Gelug traditions of Buddhism worship the deity Dorje Shugden, who is considered to be a Dharma Protector. The Dalai Lama has ostracized Dorje Shugden practitioners, taking away their basic rights, removing them from their homes, and denying them access to hospital care. Monks and nuns have been forced from monasteries and nunneries, and in one month alone, in February of 2008, 900 Shugden monks were expelled from the Tibetan community. Without the help of their friends and family, they were left destitute, and as refugees once again.
Today’s talk took place at the Forum in Inglewood, CA, just south of Los Angeles. A group of protesters have been following the Dalai Lama during all of his California talks, and today there were around 80-100 people present holding signs demanding religious freedom for Tibetans and chanting in unison, “Dalai Lama, stop lying,” and “Dalai Lama, give religious freedom.” These protests were organized by the International Shudgen Community, whose demands are quite simple: 1) allow anyone who wants to worship Dorje Shugden the right to do so, 2) completely stop discrimination against Shugden practitioners, 3) allow monks and nuns to return to their monasteries and nunneries and receive the same rights as non-Shugden practitioners, and 4) write to Tibetan communities worldwide to tell them to apply these points.
Len Foley, the organizer of these protests, has been working tirelessly to try to have the ban on Shugden worship lifted. Not only does it cause great suffering and injustice in Tibet, but Buddhists worldwide are feeling the pressure to stop this essential part of their religious practice or face being ostracized in their communities. The Dalai Lama has ignored all communication from the International Shugden Community and has not given any valid reasons for banning this practice. His stated reasons are that the practice harms and shortens his life, harms the Tibetan people, and harms Tibetan independence, none of which can be proven to be true. As Foley pointed out, “the man is 78 years old. He has more energy than I do in my mid-40s and he looks like he’s in excellent health. If this has in any way affected his health in a negative way we would have seen signs for it long ago and there are millions of people who engage in this practice, and unfortunately it is being banned unjustly.”
According to Kelsang Rigpa, the resident teacher of the Kadampa Meditation Center in Los Angeles, people have been praying to this deity for 400 years and the Dalai Lama himself prayed to Dorje Shugden for 40 years before banning the practice. Tibetans are required to sign an oath to stop this practice in order to obtain a government issued card that allows them rights to hospitals, to get a job, or travel. This highlights the problem of a government that is tied to a religion, unlike the U.S., which has a separation of church and state. Kelsang Rigpa also sees this ban as being politically motivated and really having nothing to do with religion at all, but ultimately, the Dalai Lama would have to answer this question, as we can only speculate on his reasons for creating this division and injustice.
The mainstream press, surprisingly, was present to document the protest. The Dalai Lama has been living an opulent life and making a lot of money on Buddhist teachings while his people live in great poverty. He is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, a globalist organization set on world domination through the elimination of national sovereignty of nations. Now he is beginning to be exposed as the dictator that he actually is. This is very new information for Westerners, who know little of the politics of the Tibetan people. These protests will continue to follow the Dalai Lama to Washington D.C., where a large turnout is expected. The goal of these demonstrations is very simple, to restore freedom of religion to the people of Tibet and allow equal rights for all Tibetan Buddhists. All he would have to do is say he is lifting the ban, according to Foley, and then religious freedom would be restored.
(Photo: Intellihub News/Sharon Schloss)