Freedom of worship


"Could you please stop this meaningless talk and give everyone religious freedom to worship whoever they choose."

From Geshe Kelsang's letter to the editor in Newsweek, 1997


A response to the posting by Tseten Samdup: 'Shugden versus pluralism and national unity controversy and clarification', which came from the Department of Information and International Relations, Central Tibetan Administration, Gangchen Kyishong, Dharamsala 176 215, INDIA, 1997


You say in your letter: 'Trijang Rinpoche told the Dalai Lama that Palden Lhamo would never deceive anybody, therefore it would be better to cease propitiation of Shugden'. Of course HH Trijang Rinpoche gave permission to the Dalai Lama to stop engaging in his personal Dorje Shugden practice. HH Trijang Rinpoche never tried to control his disciples, but always gave them freedom of choice.


I clearly understood that HH Trijang Rinpoche never gave permission to ban the worship of Dorje Shugden within Tibetan society. A few months before his death I met HH Trijang Rinpoche in South India. He told me everything about the situation between Dorje Shugden and the Dalai Lama. He was very disappointed with the Dalai Lama, that he was not allowing other people to practice Dorje Shugden.


In conclusion, until now there have been no problems between the majority of Buddhists of the four schools such as Gelugpa, Nyingmapa and so on. We live naturally in harmony, respecting each other's tradition and we would like this state of affairs to continue.


Therefore I would like to request to the Dalai Lama, the Central Tibetan Administration in Dharamsala and the Tibetan people: could you please stop this meaningless talk and give everyone religious freedom to worship whoever they choose.


Geshe Kelsang Gyatso
13th November 1997


 See also the Western Shugden Society's Open letter to the Tibetan Government-in-exile, Dharamsala, India and their earlier letter to the Dalai Lama

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