And yet, just outside the Beacon Theater were a group of people, mostly western monks and nuns backed by a few Tibetans who were shouting “religious freedom, stop lying, false Dalai Lama” etc. Obviously they were part of the Dorjee Shugden group and had gathered there with the explicit intent to malign the Dalai Lama with their false allegations and fabricated lies. Even as a common layman, I couldn’t help but feel a sense of pity on these protesters who were ignorant of the true story surrounding the Shugden spirit and who were being used as pawns by the organizers of the New Kadampa Tradition headed by Geshey Kalsang Gyatso.
Well, I thought, the Shugden group could howl and shout for as much as they wanted but this one thing I was absolutely sure. They could never succeed in their attempts because His Holiness the Dalai Lama has the love and support of the entire Tibetan people who have this unique spiritual relationship which is so special and so precious that not even the strongest of force on this earth can break it.
They may call him what they want – “false Dalai Lama”, “liar” etc. (the Chinese called him a “demon”, a “wolf in sheep’s coat” and a “jackal”. And god knows what else they might call him. But the fact of the matter remains that he is still the simple Buddhist monk and, most important of all, he is still the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet who is adored and loved not only by his own people but by tens and thousands of people around the world.
So why is this small group of people so hateful in nature? What is it they want? Their claim that they have no religious freedom is not at all true as they continue to worship the Shugden spirit with full freedom just like they used to and, in fact, with even more zeal and enthusiasm. So where does the question of religious freedom come from? Oh, wait a minute, do they mean the deprivation of their own religious right in their own center where, we are told by former members, they are forced to listen only to Geshey Kalsang Gyatso’s teachings and read books written only by him? We don’t hear something like this anywhere else! The Dalai Lama admits that he himself lost his freedom when he practiced the Shugden spirit many years ago due to ignorance but says “he is now free to listen to and receive valuable teachings from all the teachers of the Sakya, Kagyud, Nyingma and Bon traditions” without any fear or reservations.