The Dalai Lama and the King Demon – Dorje Shugden by Raimondo Bultrini

… the Buddhist movement never tries to destroy evil absolutely, as it would be evil to do so. Instead, it seeks to transform evil into good, turning even demonic entities into ‘protectors of freedom’ (dharmapala) or ‘world protectors’ (lokapala). To think that evil can be eradicated by destroying an external demon is to miss the ‘dark side’ within oneself, to destroy one’s own demonic unconscious potential, and hence actually to be taken over by the demon of one’s own egotism. – Robert A.F. Thurman

Those who are interested to get a broader and more detailed background knowledge about the Dorje Shugden controversy and their global players might find the book The Dalai Lama and the King Demon – Tracking a Triple Murder Mystery Through the Mists of Time by Raimondo Bultrini, an investigative journalist from Italy, very useful. (You can only pre-order it, the publication date is 1st Jul ’13.)

Bultrini is a senior journalist who worked for different Newspapers, including La Republica, and who wrote investigative and featured articles on Mafia, Red Brigates and on the new fascist bloodbath killings which occurred in Italy during those years. Bultrini is a member of Choegyal Namkhai Norbu’s Dzogchen Community in Italy.

The upcoming book by Bultrini about the Dorje Shugden Controversy is a translation of ‘IL DEMONE E IL DALAI LAMA’ (2008, 406 p.) from Italian into English.

In this book Bultrini shows the different players and their different involvements, including that of the Chinese authorities and the Dharamsala’s counter-espionage, the New Kadampa Tradition’s/Kelsang Gyatso’s involvements as well as that of Lama Gangchen Rinpoche, Kundeling Lama, the 14th Dalai Lama, his sister, the Delhi ‘Shugden Society’, the assassination of Gen Lobsang Gyatso … and vicious plans from here and there. To give you an idea about some of the dynamics most Westerners just don’t know, here an excerpt:

In a talk broadcast in 2002 by a Tibetan radio station, the young Trijang offered a number of disturbing revelations. He recounted how, while still in Dharamsala, he was told of a plan by the Tibetan Youth Congress and the Tibetan Women’s Association to attack his Labrang [the residence of the lamas.]. “Consequently,” he said, “the Chatreng community appealed to me to immediately come to Delhi and thereafter to leave for Densa [Ganden monastery in south India]. I did so, leaving my attendant, Tharcin, in Dharamsala to request an interview with His Holiness. Anonymous letters and telephone calls were received at the Labrang, where masked men were seen trying to enter my residence at night. As a result, the Chatreng community deputed around twenty guards for my security. In 1996, Gonsar Rinpoche and others decided to move me to Switzerland. The situation in India deteriorated and grew tense between the followers and non-followers of the Protector, consequently delaying my return. Later that year with my aide Tharcin I had an audience with His Holiness during his visit to Switzerland. Tharcin apprised him of the threats to my life and we agreed I should continue my studies abroad. Six years have passed since then.”

Trijang recounted how he had subsequently had other audiences with the Dalai Lama in Europe, during which the Tibetan leader had asked him to choose between his spiritual guide and the protector. “I could decide against him”, he said, but nor could I stop propitiating Shugden with whom my relationship dates back to previous incarnations. I find myself in an immensely difficult situation. The followers of the Protector would not have listened to me”, he added, “and no one seems to care about the difficulties I am facing (…) I also don’t want the people of Chatreng, who have great expectations of me, to be disheartened. But if I continue to propitiate the Protector publicly, I would be compelled to become a sort of head of his worshippers, and this would be an offence to the Dalai Lama from whom I received my Bhikshu ordination, and has always treated me with extraordinary benevolence. I cannot even hope to keep a low profile as they [the Shugden devotees] would not let me.”

The broadcast contained another series of remarkable revelations. “I have reason to believe”, he said, “that my return to India may possibly result in internal chaos, attempts on lives and other immoral activities bringing disgrace to His Holiness (…) I cannot sleep and I have had health problems. I am worried about thinking what will happen next. It is quite terrifying to think that I might be a cause of disgrace instead of serving the Tibetan people and His Holiness (…) Some have told me, “If you abandon the Protector [Shugden], there is no knowing what will happen. We will not consider you a lama [as guru]. The people of Chatreng are strange, very wild and unruly. We do not know what they may do.”

It is very clear my life might be in danger. So I have decided to leave my Labrang and disrobe, so that none of the Shugden worshippers can ask me to be their leader. I hope that this way I can respect the wishes of the Dalai Lama and still revere the protector, practicing in private and far from everyone. I intend to follow a middle way, neither for nor against Shugden. I appeal to both parties not to contact me.”

His account ended with another dramatic twist. “In my own Labrang,” he said, “I have recently witnessed a kind of factionalism and I have discovered that one person in particular was planning an evil conspiracy. This plan was to murder my assistant, Tharchin, and to implicate His Holiness’s government in exile with this odious crime. The conspirator aimed to become chakzoe [manager] of my estate. Tharchin has been very kind to me, more so than my own parents, and has taken care of me since I was three years old. As well as managing the affairs of my Labrang. With my own ears I heard this person discussing on the telephone a plan to assassinate Tharchin. It is really a matter of great sadness and surprise, especially since the person involved in this ploy has been very close to me as well. If he succeeds in his plan, it would be a cause of great trouble for the Labrang, as well as a cause of disgrace to the Tibetan government and His Holiness the Dalai Lama. These are not lies, but true facts which I want everyone to know. That is why I made this statement.”

Trijang concluded his message urging the followers of the Protector to stop seeking him. “I do not wish to be in touch with you,” he said. [After this declaration, Trijang moved to the United States with a small number of his most faithful followers.]

The young Trijang Rinpoche’s radio message created no little embarrassment among the Gyalpo’s practitioners. The image of a community, ‘living peacefully and devoted to the Buddhadharma’ promoted in their propaganda material was seriously damaged, and, for a long time, the polemics against the Dalai Lama seemed to be diminishing. But hopes that they would fade away completely have not been fulfilled – far from it.

I have still to check if the book includes also something about the New Kadampa Traditions’s ‘Western Shugden Society’ campaign, which started in April 2008, and the lawsuit against the Dalai Lama and the TGIE by Kundeling Lama which was finally not even accepted by the Delhi High Court (see PDF: Delhi High Court Dismisses Dorjee Shugden Devotees’ Charges by TibetNet/CTA).

For the publisher’s announcement see:

More by Raimondo Bultrini:

Dorje Shugden – Academic Research:

Update July 7th, 2014

  Last edited by tenpel on July 7, 2014 at 1:25 am