By Phurbu Thinley
Dharamsala, October 3: The Tibetan Government-in-Exile today issued a press statement on its position on the “Shugden/Dholgyal followers from Tibet.
The statement titled “The Central Tibetan Administration's position on the Shugden/Dholgyal followers from Tibet” comes following a Dharamsala police order issued to a group of newly arrived Tibetan youths, reportedly followers of Dorjee Shugden, directing them to leave Dharamsala in a specified time.
Police in Dharamsala last month issued notices to 16 Tibetan youths, reportedly worshippers of Dorjee shugden deity, ordering them to leave Himachal Pradesh within a week from September 27 for fear of disturbing peace in the area.
“We have asked these Tibetans to leave within seven days for fear of disturbing peace in and around or face action under the foreigners act,” a media report quoted Mr Gyaneshwar Singh, Kangra district police chief, as saying.
The 16 boys aged between 13 and 18 years arrived in Dharamsala, the seat of the Tibetan Government-in-exile on July 15 this year via Nepal reportedly to pursue religious studies.
However, Tibetan Government’s press release states that the Charter of the Monastic Discipline of the Gelugpa Sect, adopted in 2006, “categorically forfeits the enrollment of the monks who continue to propitiate Shugden in all Gelugpa monasteries”. This directive, however, “does not involve those who wish to join schools in exile community”.
“In accordance with the Charter, the Kashag has directed the Tibetan Reception Centre in Dharamsala not to issue referral letters to those Tibetans coming from Tibet who continue to propitiate Shugden to the monasteries” says the Tibetan Government’s press statement.
The statement also says that the 16 Tibetan youths have been insisting for monastic referral letter and refuse to leave the Tibetan Reception Center in Dharamsala.
In the statement issued today, the Tibetan Government has alleged that the Shugden Sect is backed by Chinese Communist Regime and is opposed to the Dalai Lama. It has also alleged that that the boys attended a two-month religious training course at a Shugden cult centre in Nepal before entering India.
“In order to undermine the peace and harmony within the Tibetan people, China provides political and financial support to Shugden worshippers in Tibet, India and Nepal in particular, and in general, across the globe” says the press statement.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader of Tibetans is opposed to the worship of the spirit and has long advised worshippers to abandon the practice.
Following is the full text of the Central Tibetan Administration’s Press Release:
The Central Tibetan Administration's position on the Shugden/Dholgyal followers from Tibet
For immediate release
3 October 2007
The Central Tibetan Administration gives options to the newly arrived youths from Tibet either to join schools or monasteries in India. Those who opt to join monasteries are issued monastic referral letters by the Tibetan Reception Centre.
In 2006, the Gelug Monastic Institutions adopted their Charter, which states that "All new entrants must stop propitiation of Dholgyal or Shugden." In accordance with the Charter, the Kashag has directed the Tibetan Reception Centre in Dharamsala not to issue referral letters to those Tibetans coming from Tibet who continue to propitiate Shugden to the monasteries.
Seventeen Tibetan youths who follow Shugden arrived in Kathmandu on 22 May 2007 to join monasteries in India. The Reception Centre explained in detail the Charter of the Monastic Discipline of the Gelugpa Sect on the monastic enrollment of the new entrants and of the Kashag's directive. However the youths were adamant to continue to worship Shugden and insist on getting monastic referral letters from the Reception Centre in Kathmandu. The youths and Shugden representatives also threatened the officials with personal consequences, if the new arrivals were not issued the required monastic referral letter.
On 15 July 2007, they came to Dharamsala and continued to insist to get the monastic referral letter from the Reception Centre. The youths and the representatives of the Shugden worshippers even approached Kashag on this issue. The Kashag informed them of the Charter of the Monastic Discipline of the Gelugpa Sect which categorically forfeit the enrollment of the monks who continue to propitiate Shugden in all Gelugpa monasteries and Kashag's directive in support of the Charter. However, Kashag's directive does not involve those who wish to join schools in exile community. On this basis, one youth joined a school recently. Despite repeated explanation and advice, they continue to stay at the Reception Centre in Dharamsala. Their stay at the Reception Centre and insistence to continue to propitiate Shugden has created concerns among the Tibetans in Dharamsala.
Because of the Shugden followers anti Dalai Lama position, there is apprehension in the breach of peace and communal harmony. As a result, the Central Tibetan Administration informed the local authorities on the danger of peace and harmony. The local police have given notice to the youths to leave Himachal Pradesh within a week from 27 September 2007.
In 1996, His Holiness the Dalai Lama advised the Tibetan people against the practice of propitiating a spirit, known as Dorjee Shugden or Dholgyal. He said that these practices foster religious intolerance and leads to the degeneration of Buddhism into a cult of spirit worship. His Holiness the Dalai Lama also made it clear that those who propitiate Shugden should stay away from his teachings and audience.
The Delhi-based Shugden organisation called Dorje Shugden Devotees' Charitable and Religious Society has been spearheading a strong campaign against His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the Central Tibetan Administration. The followers of this organisation have been involved in murders, beatings and arson in the Tibetan community since its inception in 1996. They have even threatened the life of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. The Principal of the Institute of Buddhist Dialectics and two of his students were brutally murdered in 1997 near the residence of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. The District Police had indicated the hands of the Delhi-based Shugden organisation.
In order to undermine the peace and harmony within the Tibetan people, China provides political and financial support to Shugden worshippers in Tibet, India and Nepal in particular, and in general, across the globe.
Contact: Sonam N Dagpo (Mr.)
Secretary, Department of Information and International Relations
Central Tibetan Administration
Ph: 01892-222510, 224657