Ostracism and discrimination of Shugden Practitioners by the Dalai Lama
On 30 March 1996, a letter was sent from the private office of the Dalai Lama to the Abbots of various monasteries in India. It warned of:
‘a danger to the health of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, as well as to the cause of Tibet, due to the worship of Shugden.’
The letter declared that:
‘Banning this is also the conclusion reached by His Holiness after years of observation.’
And went on to demand:
‘In implementing this policy, if there is anyone who continues to practise Dolgyal [a derogatory term for Dorje Shugden], make a list of their names, house name, birth place, class in the case of students, and the date of arrival in case of new arrivals from Tibet. Keep the original and send us a copy of the list. Please share this responsibility and submit a clear report on the implementation of this circular.’
On 5 April 1996, The Dalai Lama addresses the Tibetan Youth Congress and the Tibetan Women’s Association to encourage them to take up the cause of the ban and enforce it actively.
The extremely emotive accusations made against Shugden practitioners – that their prayers somehow were a danger to the life of the Dalai Lama and an obstacle to a free Tibet – led to widespread intimidation.
Over the next ten years, the Dalai Lama continued to use virtually every speaking engagement to stoke the persecution of Shudgen practitioners. As a result non-Shugden practitioners became extremely angry with Shugden practitioners. They forcefully expelled Shugden practitioners from Tibetan society, using public humiliation, provocation, intimidation and threats, including dismissing them from their jobs, refusing them basic services and publicly spreading lies about them.
On 9 January 2008, not satisfied with the extent of the ostracism and segregation this ten year purge had caused, the Dalai Lama insisted that Shugden worshipping monks be expelled from their monasteries.
In February 2008, as a direct result of the Dalai Lama’s demands, 900 Buddhist monks were made homeless. A signature campaign began throughout all the Tibetan settlements in India, throughout the world and even inside Tibet, requiring Tibetans to pledge their allegiance to the Dalai Lama by vowing to completely ostracise Shugden practitioners. As a result parents became estranged from their children, shops would refuse to serve people, hospitals would refuse to treat patients. This ostracism and persecution continues to the present day and has often spilled over into violent attacks on Shugden practitioners.
Some instances of the harassment experienced by Shugden practitioners during the Dalai Lama’s campaign against them:
Throughout 1996 death-threats are issued against eminent Dorje Shugden practitioners:
Swiss Documentary (part 2): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aboblx-0zAs 0:05 – 0:40
Swiss Documentary (part 2): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aboblx-0zAs 2:05 – 3:55
An Interview with Jamphel Yeshe: http://wisdombuddhadorjeshugden.org/interview4.php
During the same period a huge mob attacked a monastery in South India leaving 30 Dorje Shugden monks requiring medical treatment:
November 1996 The Thubten family home is attacked by a mob and fire bombed:
Swiss Documentary (part 2): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aboblx-0zAs 0:25 – 1:27
An Interview with Mrs Pema: http://wisdombuddhadorjeshugden.org/interview5.php
In July 2008, a mob of Tibetans attacked a peaceful protest by Shugden practitioners in New York City. They hurled abuse, threw coins, spat, and presented such a threat that the NYPD rushed in heavily-armed riot police to protect and evacuate the Shugden practitioners:
Later In 2008, Dalai Lama supporters bombed the home of a Shugden practitioner in Tibet:
December 2013 An 84 year old Dorje Shugden monk is attacked and beaten in his temple by 5 masked men:
For a more comprehensive chronology of the effects of this persecution see here: