The Final Position of all the Principal and Branch Units of the Gelug Monasteries on the Issue of Dolgyal
It is the common, bounden duty of all the Gelug monasteries and their branch units both in Tibet and in exile which are associated with the three great seats of Sera, .Drepung and Ganden Monasteries, as well as the Upper and Lower tantric colleges of Gyutoe and Gyumey, the seat monastery of Tashi Lhunpo, the Tagtsang Ratoe Monastery, and the. Tse Namgyal Monastery, to be fully up to the challenges of being able to correctly uphold in their practices the right path exemplified by the life-histories of the illustrious past masters and their teachings to their disciples.
This should be ensured on the basis of reviving, if in a. state of decline, or, as the case may be, carrying forward the incomparable precious teachings of the Buddha in general and, 111 particular, the refined gold-like teachings of our particular, pristine school founded by the Great Jamgon Tsongkhapa, the father, and son-like successor of the Buddha, the spiritual lord of the Three Realms, whosearrival had been prophesied by the Buddha himself. On the other hand, it is extremely reprehensible on the part of anyone to engage in actions which amount to failing to comprehend or to comprehending wrongly the Buddhist faith in general and, in particular, the precious, both internally and externally, pristine teachings of the Second Buddha by making recourse to lies and blasphemies of various kinds by adulterating it with meaningless practices like Dolgyal which only contribute to the degeneration of the Buddhist religion or to rendering it imperfect.
Everyone should therefore steer clear of such causes for degeneration of the Buddhist faith in the way one avoids being touched by an epidemic disease. For example, in recent times, people propitiating the Dolgyal have taken to. claim that this spirit, which is also known as the Gyalpo Shugden, and which has in its past nearly 400 years of history been extremely controversial, is a Unique, fully qualified protector of the Gelug tradition. Even now they devote their full energy and capability in whatever manner they can to the promotion and spreading of this practice. Because of these developments it became necessary to carry out a thorough and unbiased research with focus on the reliable works of histories and biographies to find out how the vast majority of the illustrious number of masters and yogis of the past whose numbers are vast to the extent of bemg likely to fill the sky over Tibet, so to say, belonging to the Sakya, Gelug, Kagyu and Nyingma schools had viewed the Dolgyal spirit, and the basis and reasons underlying the position adopted by each one of them on this issue.
The controversy about the Dolgyal issue newly arose during the period of His Holiness the Fifth Dalai Lama It is therefore particularly important to note that it was no less than His Holiness the Great Fifth Dalai Lama himself who had particularly full knowledge about the actual courses of events which occurred at that time, and who personally put them down in writing, including with details about dates and times about most of them Both His Holiness the Great Fifth Dalai Lama, with his works such as his autobiography Dukuley Ghoesang, and His Holiness the Great 14th Dalai Lama, the divinely designated protector deity of the whole expanse of the Snowland of Tibet and the master of the entire corpus of the Buddha’s teachings extant in this world, have in their times past and present have given, and continue to give, profound and expansive eye-opening advices on the issue
They refer to everything about Dolgyal or Gyalpo Shugden in its outward, inward and secret aspects through the passages of time, whether the Dolgyal is really a protector of the Buddhist school founded by the Jamgon Lama, and so on, the merits, if any, and the demerits of propitiating Dolgyal, the gains, if any, and the losses one incurs, and, ultimately, the dos and don’ts and so on concerning the question about worshipping Dolgyal
Also researched, apart from these, was the contention by the worshippers of Dolgyal on how beginning from the manner of the death of Tulku Dragpa Gyatsen, the image of Dolgyal came to be sculpted for the first time in the manifestation of an arrogant deity as the protector of the teachings of the Jarngon Tsongkhapa. And they seek to explain in their writings how, the Dolgyal is a unique and outstanding protector of the teachings of Tsongkhapa. These accounts available in writing. too were thoroughly researched, along with the basis and sources underlying the making of these contentions. For the purpose of ensuring a credible and unbiased research, the written works on both the sides were taken as the fundamental bases.
The accounts on the two sides were then compared and analyzed. The more one carried out research in such a manner, the more it became untenable to continue the research about Gyalpo Shugden.
It only resulted in the piling up of ever more number of astonishingly depressing accounts about the spirit. As regards the contention that the Dolgyal is an outstanding, perfectly qualified religious protector ‘of the teachings of Jamgon Tsongkhapa, looking for any credible evidentiary basis for them turns out to be as futile as searching for a strand of hair on the back of a tortoise, or for the relatives of a rabbit with horns and nothing else. In the case of the stray, few number of past Buddhist masters who did propitiate Dolgyal, it is a fact that all sorts of activities they undertook during their lives met with misfortune from every kind of obstacles and obstructions attributable to this spirit and this is still an ongoing phenomena.
All this is as revealed in the book ‘Opening the Eye of Discernment: a Golden Key’ authored by the general body of the Gelug school followers.
As regards the imposition of restrictions by the past masters in general and, especially, the guidelines issued by His Holiness the Great Fourteenth Dalai Lama, the master of the entire corpus of teachings on this earth of the Buddha, issued through numerous speeches, they are supported by perfect reasons grounded in well-researched findings.
With a feeling of great affection and compassion, he has presented the actual facts in black and white and their merits and demerits with great clarity. It was only with due deliberation, care, and caution that His Holiness has ‘given his advices for the benefit of the sentient beings as well as the Buddhist faith in general and, in particular, in order to clean up this otherwise refined gold-like pure Gelug. faith in an invaluable service to it and for which we should feel immensely indebted to him. All this is glaringly self-evident. As the Great Jétsun Tsongkhapa himself has said:
“You who speak excellently by seeing as it is,
For those who train in your footsteps,
All degenerations will become remote;
For the root of all faults will be undone.
“But those who turn away from your teaching,
Though they may struggle with hardship for a long time, Faults increase ever more as if being called forth;
For they make firm the view of self.”
Taking the factual explanation contained in the above guideline as the basis, all the monks of all the six big monasteries of the Three Seats of Sera, Drepung and Ganden; the great tantric ‘colleges of Gyutoe and Gyumey; the great seat of Tashi Lhunpo; Ratoe Monastery; likewise, the Tse Namgyal Monastery, and so on, and all the other principal and branch Gelug’monasteries currently existing in ‘exile affiliated to these monasteries have resolved not to propitiate Dolgyal. And they have all already taken a solemn oath with happiness and gladness, and with the Three Precious Jewels of the Buddha, Djiarma and the Sangha as their witnesses, not to enjoy shared religious and material conditions of living community with all ‘those who ‘do’ worship Dolgyal as underlined hereunder.
(1) Henceforth,all the six big monasteries of the Three Seats of Sera, Drepung and Ganden; the great tantric colleges of Gyutoe and Gyumey; the great seat of Tashi Lhunpo; the Tagtsang Ratoe Monastery; the TseNámgyal Monastery, and so on, and all the other principal and branch Gelug monasteries resolve not to propitiate Dolgyal in keeping with the relevant provisions enshrined in their
respective ruies and regulations. The resolve not to enjoy shared religious and material conditions of living community with all those who do worship Dolgyal shall clearly be put down in writing. Likewise, and on this basis, henceforth all the above-mentioned seats and monasteries shall also continue to adhere to their previously given solemn undertakings and oaths on the issue of Dolgyal till the very end.
(2) It should be ensured that the above position on the issue of Dolgyal shall be maintained in the same way at all the monasteries in Tibet and in. exile which are affiliated with the currently India-based six big monasteries of the Three Seats of Sera, Drepung and Ganden; the great tantric colleges of Gyutoe and Gyumey; the great seat of Tashi Lhunpo; the Tagtsang Ratoe Monastery; and the Tse Namgyal Monastery.
(3) In the case of the religious patrons who are unwaveringly faithful believers in and devotees and others of the currently India-based six big monasteries of the Three Seats of Sera, Drepung and Gan-den; the great tantric colleges of Gyutoe and Gyumey; the great seat of Tashi Lhunpo; the Tagtsang Rawa Toepa Monastery; and the Tse Narngyal Monastery too, they too should understand that if any of them has any connection with Dolgyal, there is no way for them to have any relationship with the above monasteries as they would be in direct contradiction with these religious centres’ position on this issue.
(4) It is impossible that there is any person whose characteristic attribute is to knowingly throw himself down an abyss of practices which are thickets of fearsome violations and thereby love getting himself lost in it. The general body of the above named mOnasteries therefore, likewise, calls on those who had been worshipping Dolgyal thus far to clearly comprehend the actual course of the emergence of the Dolgyal spirit over the periods of time as outline above, turn back from the wrong path and wrong faith, and make a clear and firm commitment to stop worshipping it. Should any such person come forward, this general body of seats and monasteries will issue such solemn requests and compliments as will help facilitate the rehabilitative accumulation of all good things for his present and future progress.
(5) Today, thanks mainly to the great, skillfully universally beneficial noble deeds of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the number of people across the world taking interest in learning Buddhism is increasing substantially with each passing day. In this milieu, however, a small number of Dolgyal followers continue to try to deceive and mislead people and others in the outside world who know nothing about what Buddhism actually stands for. In order to counter them, the entire rank of all the monks of all age groups, including the lamas and others in official positions, should make efforts to explain to the outside world what the Dolgyal spirit actually is in terms of its character and history.
(6) This is a period of great tragedy when the government of communist China, an enemy of the Buddhist faith, continues to carry out repression, torture, and persecution of all kinds at will and in that way puts the religion, people, and culture of Tibet on the throes of final destruction. It is also a period when the government of communist China spares no efforts to subvert the dignity of His Holiness the Dalai Lama derived from his universally acclaimed and wondrously great deeds, fame and so on while remaining entirely committed to carrying out a complete destruction of the Tibetan people’s just struggle for their freedom. We, the entire body of followers of the Gelug faith, are resolute in our opposition to those who make opportunistic use of place and time to deliberately lend cooperation and support to the, government of communist China, which is an enemy of Buddhism. •
(7) In this period of great tragedy when the very survival of the religion, nationhood and people of Tibet is in at stake, it is very important for us to successfully carry out His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s immensely valuable advices on the issue. Accordingly, the entire body of the Gelug followers should make appreciable efforts whenever they can in terms of time and capability to give all round teaching to all Tibetan people irrespective of their sectarian affiliations. Likewise, they should strive to raise the level of harmony amongst the different schools, their, adherence to the canons of Buddhism, and to serve the Buddhist religion in a nonsectarian manner. . .
(8) After gaining control over the entire territory of China which neighbours Tibet, the communist party of China on 1 October 1949 proclaimed to the whole world that a People’s Republic of China had already been newly established. Not long after that, communist China embarked on the earthshaking exercise of car rying out a military invasion occupation of Tibet, a land which was historically immersed in religious fervour.
With the very tragic situation in Tibet at that time resembling an exercise in futility of attempting to, a mountain standing by trying to tie it up with a rope, the entire people and deities of Tibet were unison in fervently and repeatedly pleading with His Holiness the Dalai Lama that there was absolutely no other option but for him to assume sovereign responsibility for Tibet’s temporal and spiritual affairs even though he was not yet 16 years old even. His Holiness graciously con-. descended and .has since that time taken up responsibility to address all sorts of infinite difficulties, ignoring differences of day and night, for the sake of the immediate, future and long term interests of Tibet’s religion, nationhood and people.
Ultimately, in the year. 1959, the more than 300-year old lawful Gaden Phodrang government of the Tibetan people headed by His Holiness the Dalai Lama went into exile in India, the, land of Bodhisattvas. His immense efforts directed at regaining Tibet’s freedom for the sake of all beings bore ample fruits visible to everyone with eyes to see. In. particular, by taking recourse to hundreds of scriptural readings and reasoning, he sorted out those aspects that were good and the others that were bad, and those that should be accepted and the others that ought to be rejected and thereby sought, for example, to restrict the practice of the demonic spirit Dolgyal. He thereby embarked on the admirable deed of trying to restore the purity of the Buddhist faith in general and, in particular, the precious teachings of the Jamgon Lama, the religious king of The Three Realms.
Therefore, for as long as the precious teachings of the Jamgon Lama continues in this world, the entire boy of the Gelug f011owers will keep in mind the immense gratitude they owe to His Holiness the Great Fourteenth Dalai Lama, the liberator of gods and humans, and in remembrance of this we offer infinite gratitude to him. At the same time, for the purpose of repaying his kindness we vow to make no small amount of efforts to hold a grand religious offering mainly dedicated to His Holiness’s immense series of guidance to us on the dos and don’ts on this issue. Along with it, we beseech that His Holiness the Dalai Lama live forever in the same unchanging and indestructible enthronéd state from hundreds. of thousands to hundreds of thousands of eons and in that way continue to carry out his wondrous, inestimably great deeds for the benefit of the sentient beings of this world.
As well as protecting the sentient beings. of this world, speaking in general terms, we beseech His Holiness to remain the savior of the sentient beings of the Snowland of Tibet and, in particular, as they are closer to his heart on account of that land being the designated sphere of teaching for the Lotus Holding supreme Bodhisattva; after all, their fates are intertwined on account of their prayers and destinies.
Everyone should, as a matter of giving due importance to that which is in one’s own best interest, regularly offer fervent prayers and requests to the undeceiving supreme Three Objects of Refuge and from time to time organize result-oriented wholesome prayer services.
The above statement, titled as “The Final Position of all the Principal and Branch Units of the Gelug Monasteries on the Issue of Dolgyal” is a section of the book titled ‘Opening the Eye of Discernment: a Golden Key’ which was written and publicized by the general body of the Gelug followers in the year 2013 It is to be noted that these days a very tiny minority of Tibetans engage in un-Tibetan activities by using the pretext of claims like right to religious freedom to try to subvert the high dignity of His Holiness the Fourteenth Dalai Lama who is known for his universally beneficial deeds and who is the life and soul of the Tibetan religion and nationhood, the master of the entire corpus of the Buddha’s teachings extant in this world, the Lotus-Holding Supreme Bodhisattva, and the savior of gods and humans This and to utterly ruin the just struggle of the Tibetan people is their sole objective
They continue to create even now turbulences within the Tibetan society, make or carry out unimaginable and totally baseless accusations and vilifications against His Holiness the Dalai Lama They, thereby carry out the wishes of the communist government of China which is an enemy of the Buddhist faith Besides, among the ordinary religiously devoted Tibetan public in some of the out of the way and remote areas of Tibet, they spread exaggerated and profane claims, about the importance and so on of worshipping Dolgyal Due to these ongoing developments, it was felt necessary to let the entire Tibetan people in Tibet and in exile to be informed about the solemn, final stand and so on of the entire body of Gelug followers on this issue
It was also felt necessary and important that not even one Tibetan should be seen getting misled into taking the wrong path if it could be helped It is by keeping these urgent considerations in mind that during the joyously fortunate occasion of His Holiness the Dalai Lama giving a profound teaching on the ’18 Great Stages of the Path (Lam Rim) Commentaries’ at the Great Seat of Dok Riwoche Ganden Nampar Gyalwey Ling, the parent monastery of all the Gelug monasteries, in southern India, We The Committee of Trustees of the Gelug Tradition, the Gelug International Foundation and The committee for the Administration of the Gelug Religious Precepts have especially taken out and published the above document May it prove meritorious
It is reprehensible to repay the debts owed to His Holiness the Dalai Lama with ingratitude
(1) Most of all the countless number of noble deeds carried out by His Holiness the Great Fourteenth Dalai Lama on everyday basis for the great benefit of the entire world fall into three categories of his, commitment s. These are, to put them in his own words: “As a human being 1 work to strive for the progress of human rights, freedom, equality, and democracy in this world.
As a religious person, my second commitment is to work for the elimination of conflict between religions and for the promotion of mutual respect and harmonious relationship among them. And as a Tibetan my third commitment is to work for the alleviation of the suffering of the general masses of Tibetans in Tibet who continue to be persecuted under communist Chinese repression and to strive for the resolution of the just cause of Tibet. In order to carry out these commitments, His Holiness has kept carrying on, unmindful of all kinds of hardships that challenge his efforts, and achieved enormous results. Because of these, the term ‘His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s three great commitments in life’ has become well known across the world.
(2) It is important that those who give religious discourses to others ensure that their teachings are beneficial to the human society. In particular, foreign nationals who take interest in Tibetan Buddhism and devote themselves to it should be given the best possible teachings. Other than that, it would be improper to deceive them with profane teachings about propitiating gods and demons and with all sorts of lies about them.
(3) The spirit known as the Dogyal, or Shugden, is a demonic form that newly came into being in the year 1656 on the death of one Dagpa Gyaltsen and its predisposition is to harm the religion and sentient beings. In an effort to put this demonic spirit in a state of non-violence, His Holiness the Great Fifth Dalai Lama and others who were its actual contemporaries took various kinds of actions.
Both His Holiness the Fifth Dalai Lama and others have clearly written about their efforts on this matter. However, later on, frightened by the prospects of being harmed by it, and in order to preempt such a result, stray individuals did take to propitiate Dolgyal and to pray to it Nevertheless, the monasteries and the individual who took up the Dolgyal practice kept suffering from misfortunes as a result of their devotion to the demonic spirit.
Also because of Dolgyãi, a substantial number of major disputes and conflicts arose between different schools of Tibetan Buddhism However, in recent times, His Holiness the Great Fourteenth Dalai Lama carried out a thorough research on this spirit and came to know with great clarity various kinds of astonishingly depressing information about the monstrosity of Dolgyal Following it, His Holiness gave a substantial number of forthnght advices to cxplain how there are more demerits than merits, and more for one to lose than gain from taking up the practice of Dolgyal Because Of it, and for the benefit of those desirous of knowing everything about Dolgyal, the general body of the Gelug followers camed out a thorough and high standard research on the subject over a long period of time The finding were published in the year 2013 in the form of a book titled ‘Opening the Eye of Discernment a Golden Key’ in 2013 By reading this book one can learn with clarity and in detail about the astonishing brutality of this spirit
(4) Today, when the number of people coming from every: conceivable part of the world taking interest in Tibetan Buddhism keeps increasing substantially, a section of people take advantage of the situation and deceive the general foreign public by making a false claim that the Dolgyal is sacred and thereby spread its practice Such promotion of the worship of gods and demons and the like is nothing but spreading profanity.
There is absolutely no way such a practice can find accommodation in the great compassionate mind of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. The reasons for this are firstly, that spreading the practice of Dolgyal is a blasphemy of Buddhism; and secondly, it is impossible to achieve progress and improvement in inter-religious school harmony from the practice of Dolgyal.
(5) More than 99 percent of Tibetans in Tibet and. in exile, and the people in the Himalayan regions practicing Tibetan Buddhism are fully aware that His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s advices about the issue of Dolgyal are based on solid reasons and they therefore continue to express their gratitude to him. But in recent times, when His Holiness the Dalai Lama visited Western countries, a very small number of disgraceful Tibetan people, having been lured and instigated by the communist Chinese government, have willingly allowed themselves to become its political tools. Carrying the pretext of religious freedom on their lips, they shout lies and profanity with slogans like, “Dalai Lama, do not lie!” These are nothing but part of actions carried out under schemes plotted by the communist government of China. They are but objects of pity and nothing else. What we do find surprising at those moments, however, is over the support given to them by a small number of foreigners who had fallen under the spell of the Dolgyal groups’ deception and misguidance.
We have several reasons for saying so:
(1) It is unbecoming of people from the progressive Western societies to allow them to be used as political tools in the hands of the communist government of China.
(2) It is unbecoming of them to support, instead of opposing, the Doigyal groups who give only lip service devotion to religion while resorting to lying and misleading.
(3) His Holiness the Dalai Lama always works for the improvement of human rights, freedom, equality, and democracy, and for harmony and progress in harmony across the world. And it is unbecoming of the Western followers to make false allegations and to commit blasphemy against His Holiness the Dalai Lama rather than expressing gratitude to him.
(4) Those that show interest in Buddhism should be given the highest quality of teaching, instead of being used as objects for spreading the worship of gods and demons and profane practices like the worship of Dolgyal.” Such actions amount to deceiving and misleading the interested Western followers by putting them on the road, to perfidy. That it is unbecoming of people to mislead others thus has been the focus of His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s ongoing advices. It is also unbecoming of people in the face of such advices to shout that His Holiness refrain from lying. Be cause of such misconducts, we, the entire Tibetan people in Tibet and in exile, and the Tibetan Buddhism following peoples of the Himalayas have been extremely saddened.
We express hopes and appeal to the general public from the progressive Western societies to avoid allowing themselves to he used as ‘political tools of the government of communist China. We also express hopes and appeal to them not to cause sadness in all of us, including, the general Tibetan public in Tibet currently suffering persecution under Chinese rule. And we also express hopes and appeal to them not to renav the indebtedness owed to His Holiness the Dalai Lama with Ingratitude