Is the Dalai Lama the only spiritual leader in Tibetan Buddhism?


According to Buddha Shakyamuni, the founder of Buddhism in this world, Buddhist practitioners have the freedom to make up their own minds about what to adopt and what to practice, and which spiritual leader to follow. Buddha Shakyamuni said that no one should believe him just because he said it or because others believed him - they needed to ascertain the truth for themselves.


For many Tibetan and Western Buddhists the Dalai Lama is their main spiritual leader, but for many he is not. For 2500 years, Buddhists have been free to choose their own Spiritual Guides. Therefore, those who wish to follow their own Spiritual Guides and Buddhist tradition should be allowed to do so in peace, and without being exiled "materially and spiritually" from the larger Buddhist communities if they make a choice other than the governmentally approved choices.


There are many Buddhist traditions throughout the world, including amongst the Tibetans, and the Dalai Lama is not the head of them all. There is nothing in Buddha's teachings that supports the Dalai Lama using his political power and influence to alter the spiritual traditions of Buddhists, whether by force or by "encouragement".


It is not relevant what arguments and reasons he uses - for one man to say that thousands of Buddhists (and their spiritual teachers) are wrong and need to stop their practices is completely counter to the spirit of Buddhist tolerance, compassion and non-evangelizing. No-one in Buddhist history has ever had the spiritual authority to do these things, even if they have the power.


Over the last 30 years, the Dalai Lama's political campaign of calculated religious repression has caused untold pain and spiritual crisis among those who have felt pressurized to obey him due to his unique position as "God King" and leader of a tightly-knit exiled community. Many have had to go against the wishes of their own Spiritual Guides. It has also caused untold pain among those who are being persecuted and denigrated for bravely resisting and trying to keep their Buddhist tradition alive.


Out of compassion for the Dalai Lama and others, we want him to stop abusing his power in contradiction to Buddha's teachings and to stop creating bad karma.


We have no political agenda whatsoever -- no wish for political power or influence in Tibet, India, China or elsewhere. We simply want to practice our own spiritual tradition freely in the hope that we can keep it alive for the benefit of future generations. But this is precisely what the Dalai Lama wishes to prevent. He has encouraged his followers to 'complete his work', even after he dies. He wants nothing short of the complete extermination of this ancient Buddhist practice, not only now, but for all time. Hitler wanted the same for the Jewish religion.


The Dalai Lama has not responded to direct communication and has refused to engage in democratic dialogue or debate, so now we need to let others know. Perhaps those closer to him will have the courage to start asking questions?


See also The Dalai Lama claims all great Buddhist masters of the past 350 years were wrong.

Political Leader

dalai lamaDalai Lama

The Hypocrisy

Follow the story of the Dalai Lama's 30-year political campaign to destroy a centuries-old spiritual tradition taught to him by his own Spiritual Guide, and the efforts of those he's hurting to stop him:

Brief summary
- What is happening
- What is the Western Shugden Society (WSS)?
- Detailed reports of discrimination from inside India and elsewhere

The Dalai Lama's position
- A Great Deception
- Praise to Wisdom Buddha Dorje Shugden by the Dalai Lama
- In the Dalai Lama's words

Why is this happening?
- Why is this religious suppression taking place?
- Are the Dalai Lama's reasons valid?

Efforts to restore religious freedom
- Geshe Kelsang's open letter
- The ban is illegal and unconstitutional
- Press reports and videos
- Dorje Shugden Devotee's Charitable and Religious Society
- Dalai Lama sued for repressing religious freedom
- A conflict with a solution
- Announcement from Serpom Norling Monastery

Analysis of situation
- Sectarianism
- Can the Dalai Lama ever make a mistake?
- Is the Dalai Lama the only spiritual leader in Tibetan Buddhism?
- Theocracy or democracy?
- Spirit worship or authentic Buddhist practice?
- Freedom of worship
- The Dalai Lama's justifications
- Analysis by Dalai Lama's translator (PDF)
- What would Thomas Jefferson think of the 14th Dalai Lama?
- Book Reviews
- Videos

Evidence and first-hand accounts
- Chronological background
- Discord in exile documentary
- Political motivations for the ban
- Summary to date from Tibetan exiles
- Other

Ongoing persecution 2008-2010
- Recent vote sticks and call for help
- Forced signature and ID card campaign
- Persecution of monks at Sera Monasteries
- Public humiliation and explusion of monks
- Letter to Indian Prime Minister regarding abuses
- Letters from Dorje Shugden Devotees
- Urgent appeal from Sera Monasteries
- Support from Indian police
- Western Shugden Society letter to Sera monasteries
- Western Shugden Society letter to TGIE
- Heartfelt request from monks in Mundgod
- More discrimination planned around the world
- Letter from an FPMT monk
- Other
- What you can do

Related Sites

Dorje Shugden