- File Size: 1680 KB
- Print Length: 278 pages
- Publisher: Tibet House US (May 2, 2014)
- Publication Date: May 2, 2014
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00KSP5K20
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,403,196 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
|Digital List Price:||$19.95|
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Dolgyal Shugden: A History Kindle Edition
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I am adding to this review in March 2016 as an update, following the recent disbanding of the group of Shugden followers who had been following the Dalai Lama around for decades to protest about him, most vociferously in the last couple of years, as mentioned in the book. A Reuters investigation found evidence of Chinese government finance and support for this group. After many years they have also failed to persuade Amnesty International or any other Human Rights organisation of their claims to religious persecution. End of update.
A very clear and unambiguous explanation of the history of this subject and the history and reasons for the controversy over it. The book is well researched and shows with authority the context of the problem within the Tibetan Buddhist Community. The book makes no claim to be impartial in that it uses facts and evidence to back up the arguments it clearly sets out. The main reason for this book to have been written, and put in the public domain, is to clarify to interested Buddhists and others that the partiality to Shugden worship is what has divided the Gelugpa community, and the reasons it gives are for that are clear. The book does rather expose the fast-growing, mushrooming New Kadampa Tradition (NKT) as a cult, and its leader Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, who was excommunicated from his own monastery, as being the divisive force behind the controversy rather than the Dalai Lama as being a persecutor of religious freedom, which the NKT side claims. A good book for anyone REALLY wanting to know the history and truth behind the whole subject.
The controversy concerns the worship of a harmful spirit that perpetuates sectarianism, by a conservative faction of the politically dominant Gelugpa tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. This has been supported by a small group of ill-informed western 'buddhists' who have been badly mislead by their leader Kelsang Gyatso. These western 'buddhists' are the NKT, a controversial sect that has funded its rapid expansion by relying on the UK benefits system and displays many cult like characteristics detailed in the book.
As the book says of the protests, "From outside the Buddhist world and to the untrained eye of the media and the public , what appeared around the world was large numbers of monks and nuns of the ancient Tibetan Buddhist tradition angrily protesting against the Dalai Lama for human rights abuses and his restriction of the freedom of worship of “millions” of Tibetans and Westerners, all of whom wished only for the right to follow a centuries old tradition of praying: “… a simple prayer … to develop pure minds of faith, love and compassion … like the Lord’s Prayer”.
From inside the Buddhist world, to the educated eye of the discerning Buddhist and Buddhologist, what appeared was a somewhat smaller number of individuals, members of a recently founded Western, neo-Buddhist New Religious Movement, posing as monks and nuns, and demonstrating for the right of a small minority of individuals to continue propagating a recently devised practice which, since its very inception, has been highly controversial and has held a pivotal role in the violent suppression of the freedom of worship of non-sectarian, Tibetan Buddhist practitioners in Tibet, and latterly, in the present-day, fledgling, Western Buddhist world."
Well worth reading if you want to understand the background to this controversy and the dubious background of the sect arranging the protests.