Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Shugden

In my post yesterday entitled Demons with nothing to do I mentioned a bit about Dorje Shugden and the controversy that surrounds his practice.

I was contacted by someone that maintains a pro-Shugden blog in response. This person was extremely polite and has a very different view on the subject than I and most Buddhists do. In response to his or her politeness, a rarity on the internet when people of opposing views collide, I want to post two links for those that are actually interested in this somewhat arcane tale.

The first is the link to the Wisdom Buddha Dorje Shugden Blog, which is owned and maintained by the person that contacted me.

The second is to an article called Schisms, Murder, and Hungry Ghosts in Shangri-la, which is a fairly good assessment of the situation as I know it. There are a few details that Lamas have passed to me that aren't in the article, but this is pretty much the most comprehensive treatment I have found thus far.

Lastly, though I am mainly Nyingma and Bon, and support the Dalai Lama on the Shugden issue, I do wish to point out that Geshe Kelsangs books on Tantra are excellent. Whether you practice Shugden or not, his books are rich with details that are hard to find elsewhere.

3 comments:

sixofone72 said...

I really appreciate your comments on this issue. As a magician who has recently become involved in Buddhism, I have been considering joining a local NKT group. From my perspective, as a former goetic practitioner, it is difficult to take some of the comments seriously which condemn them for working with a "demon". Most of the view on both sides seem to be very reactionary and lacking in much depth or understanding of what the controversy is really about.

Jason Miller, said...

You have to understand the context of Demon when the tibetans speak about it. Usually its a type of spirit called a dud, but in this case its a gyalpo.

Though I wanted to present both sides, I want to be clear: I am STRONGLY on the anti-shugden side of this. If you ever want to work with Nyingma and Kagyu teachers I cannot recommend avoiding Shugden practice strongly enough.

I have actually met someone who unknowingly received a Shugden wang as part of a larger initiation. When she later found an affinity for Dzogchen, she began to have serious problems that a later Lama was able to diagnose.

If you feel that NKT is where you belong, than great. But I would recommend checking out many teachers and lineages first, because going NKT is kind of a bridge-burner.

Ben Kilpatrick said...

Six,
The NKT is a polluted lineage. Working with a demon isn't the problem - accepting a spirit which has, for all that everyone can tell, fairly malicious intentions as your spiritual master is the problem.