When Tibetans first arrived in India in 1959, the Indian government under the leadership of Jawaharlal Nehru assigned to the Tibetans 24 tracts of land throughout India. On these empty spaces, Tibetans would have the freedom to rebuild their lives. This meant building their homes, constructing roads, establishing shops and businesses, re-establishing their monasteries and providing social services to their own people – hospitals, schools, retirement homes. All of this was left up to the Tibetan leadership and people to do as they wished. To guide their people, the Tibetan leadership (His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the CTA) assigned each settlement with a donjo, or representative of the Dalai Lama. The donjos are responsible for overseeing the welfare and affairs of the people. The donjos give updates to the Dalai Lama and in this way, his instructions are passed to all 24 settlements which includes over 160,000 Tibetan refugees.
Today, the 24 tracts of land granted by Nehru can be broken down in major and minor settlements, and those with monasteries have the largest and most thriving populations. This makes sense for a society where religion plays a central role to the culture and way of life. Anyway, these large and thriving settlements include Bylakuppe, Hunsur, Kollegal and Mundgod which are the locations of Sera, Gaden and Drepung Monasteries. These monasteries are the three main monasteries of Tibetan Buddhism and they are full of high lamas and accomplished masters, and have over 10,000 monks in residence today.
So I was saddened when I came across an article today explaining that these Tibetan settlements in South India have been severely affected by a regional drought. I was sad not only because the people are suffering but how come it seems nothing has been done about it, and the people have been allowed to suffer? During my time in Gaden, I saw with my own eyes how accomplished masters could influence the weather. It didn’t matter if they were high lamas or simple monks, or what rank they held. As long as they were accomplished in their practices, they had guru devotion and pure samaya with their teachers, and if they had developed bodhicitta, they could influence the weather. Tibetan Buddhism has many special rituals to affect and effect the weather. If it was too dry, I saw with my own eyes these accomplished meditators making it rain and save the harvest. If it was too wet and the villagers’ crops were in danger of being drowned, the masters could stop the rains. I saw this with my own eyes OVER AND OVER AGAIN. It happened every time they did rituals to influence the weather so I know it wasn’t a fluke or by chance.
For example, one grand master who I would frequently visit was Gen Nyima. Gen Nyima was a great monk of Gaden Jangtse Monastery from Gowo Khangtsen (administrative house) who resided in the deep Bhutanese forests for over 15 years before returning to Gaden. During his retreats, he focused on Lord Yamantaka’s practice with just a small thangka of Lama Tsongkhapa in his tiny room in the forest. As word grew of this holy monk meditating in the forest, many people came to seek his divine help. Gen Nyima was extremely accurate in his divinations and foretelling of the future, and he was renowned for influencing the weather and healing various illnesses if caught early. Even members of the Bhutanese Royal family used to visit him and they built roads through the dense jungles so it would be easier for people to travel to see the holy lama.
Later, Gen Nyima was requested to move back to Gaden Jangtse Monastery. When he was living there, I had the great fortune to live next door to this attained master so I used to visit him a lot. I would sit by his feet and all day long, villagers came to see him and request for divination, or to heal certain parts of their bodies or diseases and illnesses. He had a long pipe and he would recite some mantras then use the pipe to blow the mantras onto the affected body parts and they would be healed. One time, I asked this accomplished practitioner about Tara pujas and he told me he didn’t know how to do them. He in fact said he does not know how to do any pujas except Yamantaka! I was quite surprised because he was such a senior and grand master and Tara pujas are very common in the monastery. So I asked him what mantras he did for healing and he told me, “Yamantaka!” Then I asked him what mantras he did for dispelling spirits and he told me, “Yamantaka!” Gen Nyima only relied upon Yamantaka. I asked him what mantras he used to affect the weather to stop or bring rain and he replied again “Yamantaka”. From just focusing on Yamantaka, he could do everything and benefit so many beings. I realised that we don’t need a lot of deities to gain attainments. All we need is one deity and if we focus on them and fully rely on them, with faith, we can gain attainments too. I learned a great lesson that day from a holy and simple monk of ‘no rank’.
Gen Nyima was also famous for influencing the weather. When it was raining heavily for many days which happens in South India, the villagers would come and request Gen Nyima to save their crops from drowning. You have to understand, they were so worried. These villagers were dirt poor and the crops were their only food and income. If the harvest was gone, they would literally starve. So Gen Nyima would take his long plastic pipe and walk outside his room, recite some mantras and then point the pipe into the sky and blow. Within half an hour, the rains would stop. He was famous for this. The villagers would also come to him if there was a drought and he would do the same thing if there had not been any rain for many weeks. Within half an hour, it would start raining. Like I said, I saw this over and over again with my own eyes and Gen Nyima was not the only one whom I saw doing this. He is just one holy example. His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche was also a very powerful, holy master of influencing the weather. Kyabje Zong Rinpoche was a master of the highest calibre and the guru of tens of thousands of monks and students around the world. While he was alive, he would often be requested to do rain rituals in many Tibetan settlements throughout India.
Gen Nyima was not a lama of high rank or from a famous Ladrang with riches and thousands of disciples, but he was a holy practitioner who had developed bodhicitta. And through his practice, one of the peripheral powers he had accomplished was the power to influence the weather. So this article below from Tibet.net which is the Central Tibetan Administration’s official website really surprised and saddened me. As I mentioned, Bylakuppe, Hunsur and Mundgod are the locations of the three main monasteries of Tibetan Buddhism which are Gaden, Sera and Drepung Monasteries. Also, Tashi Lhunpo Monastery is in Bylakuppe. These have over 10,000 monks! Hence by right, with so many great monasteries in close proximity, such a terrible drought should not have been allowed to continue. I am sure these monasteries have practising monks and meditators so how come it appears they have not been able to stop the drought? I am sure someone can request His Holiness the Dalai Lama to travel to these badly-affected areas to do rituals?
Therefore what I am about to say here may not be a popular opinion but we have to consider if samaya has been broken between the teachers, disciples and the Protectors, specifically Dorje Shugden. Samaya is the sacred relationship between a student and teacher which is formed when a commitment is made, whether it is through taking vows, receiving practices, or accepting and completing assignments. When this samaya is broken, it is impossible for the blessings of the lineage lamas to come down to the practitioner. Think of it like a pipe; when there is a break anywhere along the pipe, everyone downstream won’t receive water. So samaya is like the pipe which channels the blessings of the lineage lamas down to present-day practitioners, to empower and boost the potency of their practices and prayers.
In this case, the monasteries giving up their commitments to their lineage lamas, specifically related to their Dorje Shugden practice, might be why the prayers and rituals have been ineffective. It is not in giving up Dorje Shugden that makes the rituals perhaps done already ineffective but the broken samaya of losing faith in great master and gurus because they practise Dorje Shugden. Plus the samaya of the monasteries are broken when hundreds of great masters, practitioners and monks are expelled from the monastery just because they practise Dorje Shugden. Monks from Gaden, Sera and Drepung Monasteries were expelled solely on that basis. This creates very heavy negative karma. If we can make offerings to the sangha and collect so much positive karma then by right, by splitting them up, the opposite effect comes. Sorry to say this but otherwise what other possible reason is there for the continued suffering of the Tibetan people and why have the rituals by these monasteries to alleviate the drought not been effective? Is it because there are no monks or sincere practitioners in the monastery? This cannot be when these settlements have over 38,000 people between them and within them, there are 10,000 monks. Is it because none of the monks know how to do a weather-influencing pujas, or to request the nagas to bring the rains? Also not possible. There are many ritual experts in the Sangha who know how to perform very complex pujas, meditations and visualisations that have elaborate altars and set-ups. I am not bringing up this point to accuse, defame or criticise but out of concern, to ask the monasteries, lamas and Tibetan government to repair the broken samaya created by defaming Dorje Shugden high lamas, tulkus, geshes and sangha. That samaya must be repaired soon. The sanghas must all unite again and not discriminate other sangha due to their Dorje Shugden practice.
So humbly, for the sake of the people who are greatly suffering from this horrendous drought, I would like to respectfully suggest that the Gaden, Sera and Drepung Monasteries’ sangha and Tibetan people consider repairing their samayas. The Tibetan government should repair this samaya. And also the populace and monasteries can start invoking and propitiating Dorje Shugden for the rains to come. Perhaps the control form of Dorje Shugden which is Wangze, who rides on a turquoise dragon. I have lived in the Tibetan settlements myself and know firsthand how poor the people are. In fact I organised and sponsored many charity projects because the people there are so, so poor and a drought like this will really affect them. I KNOW Dorje Shugden can help. As an enlightened being, Dorje Shugden will be able to assist them if they make sincere supplications and as long as the samaya is mended. Even His Holiness the great 16th Karmapa himself prophesied that one day, we will need Dorje Shugden’s help. So I hope the Tibetan leadership will sincerely consider my request, for the benefit of the people who are desperately looking to them for help.
Forgive me if my words do not please some of you as I have written this with good motivation. May the droughts end and may everyone have abundance again. May the samayas of the monasteries and lay people be repaired soon.
All Steps to be Taken to Compensate Tibetan Farmers Affected by Drought in South India: Department of Home
DHARAMSHALA: The five major Tibetan settlements in South India have recently been hit by an unprecedented drought in the region, ravaging over 5,900 acres of standing crops in the five largest Tibetan communities.
Tibetan farmers in Bylakuppe, Hunsur, Kollegal and Mundgod settlements have been gripped by an extensive drought which caused a near-total loss of crops and brought hundreds of Tibetans families to the brink of an urgent economic crisis.
In an interview with Tibet.net, Acting Secretary, Mr Chemi Rigzin, Department of Home, lamented the severity of the crisis and assured that the department would take all necessary steps to provide compensation for the affected farmers and their family members.
“We are faced with the most severe case of crop failure ever recorded in Tibetan exile history. All the five major Tibetan settlements have been gripped by an unfortunate and severe drought this season. However, we have started issuing appeals to our foreign supporters, Offices of Tibet around the world and Tibetan settlements in India, Nepal and Bhutan for immediate relief assistance. We assure all the affected farmers that the department will do its best and all necessary steps would be taken to ensure compensation for the losses,” Mr Chemi Rigzin said.
The department is focussed on gathering relief and evolving a mechanism to disburse the compensations at the earliest, he added.
Farmers who have incurred losses of 50 per cent of crops or more would be compensated and eligible farmers would be compensated as per rules and regulations of the Disaster Relief Fund.
Mr Tsering Dorjee, Joint Secretary of Home department had earlier led a detailed survey to assess the gravity of loss in Kollegal, Bylakuppe and Hunsur settlements from 4 – 12 October 2016. A detailed survey in Mundgod Tibetan settlement was conducted by a local official.
The survey led by Mr Tsering Dorjee ascertained a complete report of losses incurred by each farmer in all the five affected settlements.
Kollegal Tibetan settlement, with the largest agricultural community, has suffered the biggest loss this season. Farmers in the region have incurred a combined crop loss to the tune of Rs 30,032,233.57, resulting in total crop loss for some.
Families in Mundgod Tibetan settlement has suffered 50 – 80 per cent loss, while Hunsur Tibetan farmers suffered 50 – 70 per cent loss, costing an approximate Rs 2,280,245.72
The near-total crop loss have resulted in a debilitating impact on the income and consumption of a large number of Tibetan families in these settlements. Many of them have taken huge loans from banks to cover their investments.
|No||Settlement||Acres of cultivated land||Losses incurred|
|1.||Kollegal Tibetan Settlement||2157.1||Rs 30,032,233.57|
|2.||Hunsur Tibetan Settlement||229.6||Rs 2,280,245.72|
|3.||Bylakuppe Tibetan Settlement||424||Rs 2,397,819.60|
|4.||Mundgod Tibetan Settlement||335.12||Rs 3,003,126.00|
Update November 14, 2016
Any refugee community which has been in a free country for more than 50 years should already be able to stand on their own two feet and stop making appeals. The very fact the CTA continues to ask for donations and, on top of that, uses the Dalai Lama’s name tells you how ineffective their work has been. This is not meant as a criticism but as a description of reality.
So on a secular level, they are still begging for money and relying on handouts after 50 years of exile in a free country like India where all opportunities for success have been afforded to them. And yet, they are still begging for money. Thus on a secular level as well as a spiritual level, the Central Tibetan Administration have not fulfilled their namesake.
India is free, everyone can do what they want. The Tibetan leadership were given land, opportunities, education and aid, and so many Western charities help them. This is much, much more than any other refugee community in the world has received and yet, they still can’t make it. Instead, they have spent millions on campaigns, websites, pamphlets and books against Dorje Shugden, instead of putting these donations towards their people.