New Kadampa Tradition/Dalai Lama



Dear friends,
I just read the last message posted in the Geshe Kelsang/Dorje Shugden thread. The thread is getting lengthy so I started a new one.

I am an NKT practitioner of 4 years and I think we shouldn't be critical of other traditions or of the Dalai Lama.

It takes a lot of wisdom to practice our own tradition purely without mixing while also not being critical of other traditions. I respect and admire anyone who practices like this. We speak well for our own tradition when we practice like this.

Even if other traditions criticize ours and ban our practices we should just accept it and not retaliate. Otherwise we're not showing a different example.

We can practice our own traditions purely and still live like brothers and sisters with each other in the world. Geshe Kelsang himself said that he had a friend who was a Nyingma Lama and they would do puja together. Geshe Kelsang would do pujas of his tradition and the Nyingma Lama would do his pujas. They didn't criticize each other or try to convert each other. They practiced peacefully together. I find that example very helpful.

May your progress along the spiritual path be swift and continuous regardless of the tradition you practice. May we all live in peace and harmony together without being angry or critical of each other.
i havent really read the other thread (maybe i should before i say anything) however i think i have the basic idea. i dont really understand why religions fight against one another, especially those of the same religion, but different schools or sects. everyone is basically trying to achieve the same thing with religion, that thing being the search for happiness and peace. so someone else goes about it in a different way, what does it matter? are they hurting anyone? if the answer is no, then let things be. they will find the right path sooner or later. now if they are harming others, then maybe u would like to say something about their harmful actions to them. however, if they choose not to listen, u shouldnt force yourself or your opinions on them. but, thats my opinion, coming from the perspective of a fairly new buddhist. i hope that it made sense.

be well in peace
Hi toujour,

Whilst I agree with your sentiment in theory, I think there are understandable concerns about some organisations which need to be examined. By way of example, NKT, FWBO and SGI are, in the UK, often cited as being, if not cults then cult-like. Someone new to Buddhism in the west may not appreciate the differences between one of these and a more "traditional" organisation. The following two links go into some more detail about the concerns.

Those are very interesting articles and by far the most damning report of the NKT I have heard yet.

For my part, I am grateful to the NKT for the introduction to buddhism they gave me some yeard ago. I do not accept the accusation that they are a cult simply because the organisation is so easy to leave.

I chose to leave them after about 6 months of finding them. I never had any formal innitiation ceremony and I was told that even an empowerment was not really necessary but rather an option for any people who "Enjoy the bells and smells of buddhism" as my teacher said.

I never found shugden worship to be a huge part of my practices with the NKT, but it was always present. I would say he has a similar emphasis as The Virgin Mary in Catholicism.

I have no experience with the other organisations named in these articles but in my opinion, any organisation which offers an introduction to the Dharma is doing a good job, and any practitioner is always free to leave and investigate other areas of Buddhism as I did.

The FWBO was the means by which I gained an initial understanding of Buddhism so yes that was beneficial. However, weighing this against some of the allegations and indeed some of their own published material I personally would not recommend anyone get involved with such an organisation.

hello there... can't believe ppl are still banging on about the NKT and dorje shugden and the dalai lama... the worst of it was years ago, and the rest, much the same as what has gone on b4... however, thought I'd share my take on it....

originally, 10 years ago, ish, the Dalai Lama said that those buddhists who worship Dorje Shugden should not consider themselves part of the gang... but why did he say that? After all, two years before that, he was writing forewords for Kelsang's Gyatso's books... so why the sudden turnaround..? There's loads of lil disputes about what he meant by that, and theoretically supposedly what he meant by this was- Dorje Shugden is a bad ass, and all who follow this practise are also bad asses... as Kelsang brought it to the west, then kelsang is a bad ass... simple to understand, really... Tensin Gyatso makes a big noise, creates division between buddhists, which is a big deal, doctrinally, and risks his own reputation to dissassociate himself and by default, all those buddhists who give him the nod, from the NKT... now, maybe he isn't a stupid monk after all, smelt the trouble on the wind, and got in first, distancing himself from it before it kicked off...

...although we (some of us, anyway) uphold these guys as great buddhists, and view them as godlike beings, enlightened, etc, they are still only men... may believe in direct succession and lineages and such, but the buddha himself said it was all nonsense, and so I'm going with that...

...when they need a new lama a gang from the monestary visit some village and take some kids. They usually take more than two, and they teach them as much as they can about buddhism before they get to their teens...The best one they pick, and the rest just become monks... I hear that both Tensin and Kelsang were taught by the same ppl, and as they are only both human beings, maybe there is some of the usual jealousy and rivalry between them and thats why, ten years later, ppl are still talking about it...who knows... Tensin got the job, Kelsang didn't... Truthfully, I'm only interested in the quality of their dharma, not what type of underpants they wear, and all I know is that whoever translates for Tensin does a better job of it than whoever translates for Kelsang... Dorje shugden was a deity of some buddhists for centuries, yet is considered dubious because of what he represents and what vajrayana practise is... if u are subtly influencing ppl to destroy the enemies of ur guru this creates dodgy psychological grounds... it's not rocket science, after all...

however... personally I would rather someone was involved with the FWBO or the NKT and getting some buddhism, even if it's not very good buddhism, than none at all, as the likelihood they will stick with it for life is small, and when they age, grow, change and develop further, a person may then come to their own conclusions about what is buddhism and what isnt... as ppl's posts here testify...

...I think the main problems with both of these organisations is that they have a high proportion of young ppl in them and that they have grown so quickly, and not always by legal means- the NKT and housing benefit scandal a few years ago is just one example... it says in the bible- ye shall know them by their fruits... so, where do their profits go? cos they're not doing much for the ppl, 'cept give them shonky dharma... why do you find so few working class ppl within these organisations? Cos they've got no cash..? And when u do find em, what are they doing..? It's rare u'll find one in a position of responsibility- usually they're the food choppers and the kerb sweepers...

so, are they cults..? well.... I have no direct experience of the FWBO, but have some first hand exp of the NKT... and to be honest, which I am, I would not describe these organisations as cults in the strict sense of the word cult... they do not harm their believers, as such, I don't think their head honchos diddle kids, or sleep with the nuns, if u want to leave, u can, and its not hard to...

...however, having spoke to hundreds of NKT'ers, there does seem to be a push for u to take up the robes... I have also been told by a few monks that it was suggested to them that they should not consider pursuing careers in the outside world, and devote themselves to buddhism, and I have also been told that those humans who attend regularly who have money and wealth are also sweetly pursuaded to take up the robes, in turn doing what all monks and nuns the world over do, and give their wealth to the church/ashram/temple, etc, etc... their practise annoys me, the singy song way it is done, and it annoys me because it is a very simple yet effective method of impressing information into people's minds...if they are young, 14-25, music that conjures up emotions, or is attached to great times will stay with them for life... so then, shall buddhism...everyone does that, though, via prayer, sadhana, dharani, mantra, etc, etc...

...for me, I dislike organised religion of any type, as there are too many soundbites and buzzwords and ppl don't really think about what they're doing... organised buddhism, where ppl pay to be "empowered", and they buy all the books, and they start talking the talk, annoys me, becuase yes, this is fine, noble even, when done for the right reasons, but when it isn't and people are talking the talk because they are desperate to fit in or acheive high status within the organisation then any decent guru with any kind of sense would notice this, and nip it in the bud, yet it flourishes, because organisations grow too big, they become businesses, quantity is better than quality, etc etc...

if the western middle classes want to give poor yet wise eastern gurus their money, that's great... tis their choice... dharma though, is free...

gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhi svaha