Outcast Society Emerging among Tibetans

Tibetan Buddhism knows several hundred protecting deities. In the 1970-ies His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama abandoned his faith in one of these protectors, the deity Dorje Shugden. In the years to follow, His Holiness increasingly aimed his preachings at moving others to also abandon their faith in Lord Shugden. Not satisfied with the amount of converts by preaching alone, His Holiness started in 1996 to gear the leverage of his exile administration at imposing social obstacles to those not willing to follow His Holiness' own change of faith. As a result, access to various jobs, positions, schools, and monasteries in Tibetan exile became impossible without publicly renouncing Lord Shugden. Ambitious aspirants on the contrary, showing their support for the new measures, were duly rewarded with key positions and visits of His Holiness to their establishments. An estimated one third of the Tibetan population and hundreds of the most renowned masters of Tibetan history used to rely on Lord Shugden in the past. His Holiness' measures effectively reduced this number to a minority. Still not satisfied with these results, His Holiness instigated public swearings in the monastic universities in South India in January 2008, aimed at making social life impossible for anyone not converting to the new line of faith.

Here a few documents used in these swearings:

I swear on the name of His Holiness and glorious Maxor Gyalmo (Protectress Palden Lhamo) to never venerate and worship Dolgyal and to never have any relation on material and other levels with those who worship Dolgyal.
I, who is called ...(name)...., vow that from now on, forever, at any time, that I will never venerate and worship Dolgyal. And regarding the type of people who venerate and worship Dolgyal, I vow never to share or experience any religious or material goods with them. In the name of the three jewels I express the clean oath of promising to do that.

I who is called ....(name)...., promise voluntarily by myself without any doubt and ambiguity in the name of the great Dharma king emanation Taok (special protector of Sera-mey monastery) to clearly cut all religious and material links of every aspect, from this moment on, with anybody who is on the side of Dolgyal.
department, person's name, signature

Identity card for those who have sworn and submitted their vow

ID No:
House No:
Date of Issue: 16-02-2008

"Not to have any relation with those venerating Lord Shugden" is now being implemented in these monasteries as a complete social segregation. Those who remained non-convertable besides such drastic measures are now declared as 'unclean', 'traitors to the Tibetan cause', 'enemies of the Dalai Lama', and receive the treatment of an outcast society. Without the identity card for example, it is now impossible in Sera monastery to attend common prayers or to buy goods in the monastery shop. The 'unclean' ones have effectively been singled out, are now ostracized in every-day life, and religious Apartheid finally seems to be reality.

Such words, such swearings, and such proceedings are unprecedented in Tibetan history. They do in no way correspond to a Buddhist way of life. As Tibetans, we are ashamed to see this happening in the name of our most cherished people, beloved country, and precious history.

Geshe Konchok Gyaltsen, Dorje Shugden Society,
House No 105, Old Tibetan Camp, Majnu Ka Tilla, Delhi-54
(91) 11-23921169, Mobile:(91) 9910262029