Spiritual ‘Food’ for thought – Dorje Shugden people

 

My dearest friends around the world,

 

What is your opinion:

Do you think we should segregate other people due to their economic class, color, gender, religious belief or lack of it, sexual orientation and culture? Should humans be judged on their preference as oppose to who they are inside? Do you think some are superior and others are inferior?

Scenarios:

If someone practices Dorje Shugden and they are not harming anyone or wish to harm anyone and it’s their private practice, should we disassociate from them?

1. Should we stop eating with them?

2. Not meet them anymore?

3. Not speak to them?

4. Hurl abuses towards them?

5. Call them derogatory names and segregate them? Call them liars, cheats and demon worshippers?

6. Should they be removed from mainstream? Are they inferior to others? How should they be treated and why?

7. Should they be disallowed to attend our schools, hospitals, public gatherings, meetings, social events and so on? Become second class citizens like the black people who were enslaved prior to emancipation?

8. If they are our spouse, should we divorce them?

9. If they are our family members, should we stop talking with them or even disown them?

10. If they are our students, should we turn them away?

11. If they are our gurus/teachers, shall we forget all the kindness they have given us in help, teachings, advice, gifts, divinations, pujas and prayers and turn them out?

12. Shall we be forced to choose a non-Shugden teacher over a Shugden practicing teacher?

13. If a teacher practices Shugden, does all his decades of study, meditation, purity in vows, vinaya purity and compassion all do not count and he should be ex-communicated?

14. Shall we disparage temples and places of worship because they practice Shugden?

15. Shall we perhaps lock them up, spit on them and never speak to them again since they are such “sinners”? (I’m not advocating to lock them up, spit or abuse them-it’s hypothetical only)

16. Shall we unfriend them on all social media?

17. Shall we ignore who they are and what they are and what accomplishments they have just because of their belief in Shugden?

18. So we should not be friends or associated with anyone who does this practice because it makes us impure, unclean, unattained and imperfect?

19. When our individual teachers teach us to disassociate and cut off any ties from Shugden practicing people, does this make this teacher compassionate, tolerant and kind? Is this the work of a Buddhist master who alienates, segregates and creates prejudice against others due to their faith, religious belief or beliefs?

 

20. Around 50 years ago in the USA, it was illegal for a Caucasian to marry a person of color or outside his race. Everyone believed this and enforced this law. It was to keep racial ‘purity’. Meaning all other races besides Caucasians are inferior and should not mix with them? Do you agree with this? And that goes for their religion. Those in USA who were not perhaps Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian, Lutheran or Catholic are impure and going to hell. In other words, Muslims, Buddhists, Jains, Taoists, Shintoists, Hindus are all impure and going to hell. And they have to be converted? Those beliefs were very strong and practiced by the majority in USA and perhaps Europe. Do you agree with this?

21. People who practice Witchcraft, Voodoo, Nature spirits, Native American religions, Druid, Shamanistic faiths are not pure and should be burned at the stake? Do you believe these people should be ostracized, biased, segregated, converted and if they don’t agree burn them at the stake? Or do you think we should respect them and embrace their other qualities that a good human can have such as compassion, generosity, intelligence, kindness, etc? Do you think we should condemn them just because their faith is not the same as ours or our spiritual leaders condemn them? Because there was a time not far back in the USA and Europe these religions were not respected and even against the law. Those who practiced them should be segregated and burned at the stake. Thousands of people in Europe and America were tortured and burned because of their ‘deviant’ spiritual beliefs. Shall we do that to all the people who believe in Dorje Shugden or respect them, love them and treat them equally as human beings with many facets to them besides their religious beliefs? Should we cooperate with religious teachers who teach us hatred, segregation and intolerance? Does it matter what another person’s religious beliefs are in order to treat them equally and kindly?

22. If they need medical, psychological or physical assistance, should we deny to them because they practice Shugden?

23. If someone is of a different sexual orientation, should they be segregated, make laws against them and abuse them because they are sub-human? Many people and countries did that in the past and is that correct and they should be discriminated because they are different? Shall we do the same for Shugden people?

24. If they are elderly and need assistance, shall we abandon them because they practice Shugden?

25. Shall we hurl stones at them; kick them out of our towns, villages and neighborhoods because they practice Shugden?

26. Should they perhaps totally leave planet earth and find a way to Mars and stay there so they don’t contaminate earth, our waters, forest and environments? How far should we go in segregating Dorje Shugden people? Where does this segregation stop? Or should we segregate them at all?

27. If we are Buddhists, the core teachings especially Lojong by the great Kadampa masters, Shantideva, Shantarakshita, Atisha, Guru Rinpoche and Tsongkhapa taught us to practice Tong-Leng or taking upon ourselves the sufferings of others and that is our main practice. How does segregating others due to their color, gender, religious orientation, sexual preferences, culture and social-economic status help in our development of altruism, compassion and ultimately Buddhahood.

28. If a certain race, group of people are discriminated against, should they take the discrimination or peacefully protest? For example, if all people who practice voodoo, cannot enter restaurants, hospitals and schools because they are ‘evil’, is that ok? Or not? If  you are a beautiful person of color but not allowed in a all White Restaurant, is that ok? Since the prevailing belief at that time is White supremacy? Let the person who doesn’t believe in what we believe just die and not enter our hospitals?

29. If a powerful religious or secular leader does not agree with your religious beliefs or forms of worship, is it ok for them to ‘express’  their freedom of speech and at every public event by degrading your faith? In turn, creating others to turn against you just for your faith?  Your belief system or religion is ‘advised’ by these leaders and creates confusion and drama and pain, is that ok? Is it ok for the spiritual leaders, pope, bishops, monks, priests, sadhus, masters, gurus to publicly denounce someone’s faith, religious preference and spiritual practice when it’s different than theirs? Or they should show compassion and welcome all because they are human and deserve acceptance? Is that wise to do in today’s world or does that create bias, segregation and perhaps disharmony?

30. Who in leadership is allowed to label a religion pure and another spirit worship? Didn’t early America label witchcraft evil and practitioners should be burned? Should we allow this again today? That certain leaders have all the power to eradicate or condone a certain faith?

31. IMPORTANT-If a Dorje Shugden practitioner approached Lord Buddha, Guru Rinpoche or Lord Tsongkhapa would these great beings tell them to go away? Tell them they are ruining their samaya, or they are unfit and unclean? Can our samayas be so delicate and easily corrupted just because we associate with Dorje Shugden people? Would these great beings show them hostility, hatred and hurl abuses? Or would they show equal compassion to them as any other beings that approached them? Would Buddha tell a Dorje Shugden practitioner to go away?

Can anyone honestly answer these questions after some deep contemplation? How far should we segregate another person based on race, gender, social economic background, class, sexual preference and spiritual belief? Or should we NEVER segregate anyone based on these mentioned qualities. Shall we just love and accept all no matter who they are and what they believe? Shall abuse Dorje Shugden practitioners because a mystical lama said we should and abuse them daily on the internet? Is that compassion? Is that the religion we follow? Is this not the age of science and ‘enlightenment’ or dark ages?

How far shall we segregate Dorje Shugden practitioners? What is the limit? They won’t surrender their beliefs and the other half will not also? So what’s the solution? Get rid of all of them?  How much abuse shall we hurl at Shugden believers just because they believe in Shugden? Shall we hurl abuses at people different than our skin color, culture, economic class and preferences? How far shall we go with that?  How much more vulgarities is enough? How much more negative name calling to Shugden people would make us feel better about who we are? Does putting another person down make us better or closer to enlightenment? Shall we wake up daily for the rest of our lives hurling abuses against people who prefer to be different than us? Maybe just send them away to an island, Mars or out of our sight? Shugden people are not people? They should be abused?

I do not mean offense to anyone with these questions but have observed this happening in today’s environment and was thinking deeper to myself. What do you think? Shall we abuse or segregate anyone or be kind to all?

Tsem Rinpoche

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