May 2014 - Visit of HH Dalai Lama in Europe

It is very difficult for anyone to really comprehend the nature of this problem, because it is almost inexpressible in a sensible way. This is because it is a mixture of religion, politics, superstition and private affairs.

Here is just an attempt to solve this puzzle.

It is quite clear, that this problem has little to do with the actual teaching of the Buddha. The teaching of Buddha, when correctly taught and understood, is something illuminating and dispels all misconceptions and superstitions and helps to solve all the riddles of the phenomena and is thus a solution to all our problems and sufferings. It would never give rise to any additional problems.

However, it is also a fact that there is a tendency to lots of superstitious beliefs and practices among the Tibetans, such as beliefs in many benevolent and malevolent spirits. Dealing with such entities with hopes and fears generally belongs to the mentality of simple, uneducated people.

Besides the fully enlightened Buddhas and Bodhisattvas and other holy beings venerated in Buddhism, there are hundreds of deities of Buddhist and non-Buddhist origin which are recognised and worshipped by the common people.

However, in the history of Tibet it has never occurred that a deity becomes a political issue of such a magnitude. Of course, this would also be quite an impossible and most ridiculous thing if it was advocated by an ordinary Tibetan.

However, the fact that this imaginative fantasy-problem has turned into a political theme of highest importance for the Dharamsala Tibetan administration is due to the fact that H.H. the 14th Dalai Lama, the highest religious and temporal authority for the Tibetans, himself has brought it into life and promoted it during the last 20 years.

The big question is, why did he do that?

His Holiness is a lama of great knowledge and dignity, who is currently known in the world as an advocate of peace, tolerance, and ecumenical broad view, teaching universal compassion and responsibility everywhere. Why would he show such intense intolerance and meticulous discrimination towards his own people with regards to their religious practice?

The most intelligible answer that one could try to give would be:
It is due to the extraordinary position which H.H. the Dalai Lama was assigned to.

First of all having taken a human form and secondly having been recognised as the 14th Dalai Lama and inthroned at the age of 13 as the sovereign of Tibet, he plays the double role as the head of both religion and politics, and depends upon a whole team or entourage to assist him in all his affairs. And if we take a close look, we can see that there have been dramatic changes in those people around him.

In the past, on the spiritual side, there have been his two most venerable tutors, who were truly living examples of wisdom and all the Buddhist virtues, likewise philosophical assistants and personal attendants etc. with whom he always associated. Their advice, influence, and services have been solid ground which has always supported and upheld him.

Likewise, on the political side, there were some wise ministers and other personalities, like the head of the Khampa resistance force etc., who were fully dedicated people, serving him in good and bad times with all their heart. Although they were deeply respectful to him, they also had the guts to offer correctional remarks to him whenever it was necessary.

Thanks to their extraordinary effort His Holiness could even escape the dangerous grip of the communist Chinese forces in 1959, and along with his family safely come to India and even found the exile Tibetan administration with all its branches. In these efforts many Khampa fighters have given their lives for him.

Beginning from the 80-ies that dedicated team got changed completely. During the last 20 years, those who were responsible both for religion and politics, starting from the most outstanding figures, the two most Venerable Teachers of His Holiness, and a series of spiritual leaders of all four Tibetan Buddhist traditions, as well as other dignitaries, have either passed away or are no longer in their position.

Those in the leading roles have drastically changed, both in terms of competence and sincerity. Not only that, some weird sources have been sought and won the trust of His Holiness, such as the so-called state oracles, as well as a number of Indian and Tibetan fortune tellers. And those who serve him in the positions as clergy and government officials are mostly interested in favouritism of His Holiness for themselves and their position in exile Tibetan society, rather than the true cause of Tibet and Tibetan Buddhism.

The goal of these people is to please him and win his favour, justly or unjustly.

As a result, in the political field a series of changes for the cause of Tibet has taken place, which caused the total breakdown of the original quest of every Tibetan when we left our country back in 1959. Then, our goal was the regaining of complete freedom of Tibet at all cost, no matter how long it may take. Since 1988, this policy is totally abandoned and changed to so-called 'middle way', seeking some kind of autonomy under China.

However, due to incompetence und unskillfulness of the responsible people this attempt of negotiation with China has also failed. Thus to make a long story short, the current political situation of Tibet has reached ground zero. Neither freedom of Tibet, nor autonomy in China. Now, the future of Tibet relies upon the future of China. However, this political theme is not the topic of our declaration here.

The main point of this urgent declaration is the very unfortunate and unbelievable situation which reigns the Tibetan community in exile. Our compatriots living in India are going through a worst kind of religious discrimination and persecution in this 21st century, due to the religious discrimination of all those Tibetans who adhere themselves to the Buddhist deity Dorje Shugden.

Of course, it is impossible, that such situation would have been created on part of H.H. Dalai Lama independently. It is due to the ill-intended influence of his new associates, that such things have become a sad reality of Tibetan people.

The public denouncing of deity Dorje Shugden, venerated by millions of people in the world, along with all the great masters and followers who have adhered to this deity in the past as well as at the present (which includes HH's own teachers, his philosophical assistants and countless other Tibetans of various walks of life, some with a great legacy of service to His Holiness and the country), is due to the sheer jealousy, superstitious ideas, and personal grudge of some oracles etc.

Unbelievable discrimination and expulsion of monks and nuns and ordinary people, from the monasteries, schools and other organisations has happened, even the chance to be treated by local dispensaries and buy things at shops are forbidden. Their right as a Tibetan has been snatched from them under all kind of allegations, such as 'demon worshippers' and 'threateners of His Holiness' life etc.

Persistent signature campaigns, swearing to break all religious and social links with anybody who has a relation to the deity, has become the order of the day. While the only 'crime' the people have committed is to continue to venerate our deity, which His Holiness has turned down at the advice of the state oracles.

Of course this has contributed to the disharmony and divisions of the Tibetans even up to the family level and unprecedented feelings of insecurity, suspicion and anxiety among the people.

Although HH Dalai Lama often tends to denounce the deity and their adherents through calling them spirit-worshippers, the fact is, that in all four Buddhist traditions of Tibet there are hundreds of so-called guarding deities of the same rank, which are regularly venerated and worshipped by all, just as this deity is venerated in two Buddhist schools, namely Sakya- and Gelug-tradition since 400 years.

There are still many other deities that are recognised, venerated individually or collectively, and H.H. Dalai Lama personally has such deities who are regularly worshipped with much pomp and zeal. Their (questionable) oracles are consulted frequently for spiritual and even governmental decisions. Many new prayers and praises are composed by His Holiness to those deities.

Another allegation, which is imposed upon the discriminated group is 'this practice would harm the life of His Holiness and the cause of Tibet'. But the reality is that the present 14th Dalai Lama is the second-longest living Dalai Lama among all 14 Dalai Lamas. He is now 79 years old. Only the first Dalai Lama would be older than him, he lived up to an age of 81 years.

And also, at that most crucial time in the history of Tibet, back in 1959, those who served His Holiness and took the responsibility of bringing him out of the Chinese danger into the save and free land of India, were all adherents of this deity. Even among all the Tibetan oracles, there was one old venerable oracle of this deity, who was the only oracle who gave at that time most needed eye-opening advice and guide-lines for his safe escape from Tibet.

As a result, all through the 1950-ies and 60-ies, till 1978 His Holiness Dalai Lama himself has been one of the most outstanding adherents of the same deity. And also the leader and the members of the Khampa resistance force, who were fighting with the Chinese communist military during 10 years in Tibet, have been as well adherents of the same deity.

Thus all those baseless allegations and many others are just made up to justify the ban on this religious practice.

However, our struggle is not for a matter of survival of a simple deity, which is not at all our concern. The concern is the existence of countless Tibetans, both in Tibet and in exile, which is endangered through such unjust discrimination and allegations, at this very time, when actually the unity of all Tibetans is more than ever crucial and the life-force of everybody.

Such segregation not only affects the life of countless Tibetans, but as adherents of the same deity also many other Buddhists all through the world, such as Mongolia, India, and now also many Western and other Eastern countries. That is why we are joining today the international rally organised by our spiritual brothers and sisters here in Europe.

Although there have been repeated appeals in the most respectful ways submitted to the attention of His Holiness and His government for their consideration and change of policy, these attempts have been met with total refusal and vehement banish, which has finally left us with no other option than to bring it to international attention through the democratic means of making our situation known to the world.

Apart from that, neither do we belong to any particular strange sect engaged in dubious activity against Tibet's only Nobel laureate, H.H. 14th Dalai Lama, nor are we manipulated by any political powers or interest of personal gains of any kind.

Although the past 20 years we have been deprived of the possibility of attending any teachings or ceremonies conducted by His Holiness, as we have done in the past, we still have not lost our respects to him in our hearts. Though all the sacrifices and dedications which our people have rendered for His service in the past are rewarded with such undeserving discrimination, we, instead of holding any grudge or negative sentiments, we always wish and pray for his long life.

Finally we appeal to His Holiness to grant us our religious and human right, that all Tibetans equally deserve, and the dignity and respect of all our most venerable masters of the past and present and our compassionate and enlightened deity Dorje Shugden be restored.