Talk:14th Dalai Lama

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Former good article nominee 14th Dalai Lama was a good articles nominee, but did not meet the good article criteria at the time. There are suggestions below for improving the article. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.
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edit·history·watch·refresh Stock post message.svg To-do list for 14th Dalai Lama:
  • Add information about religious role and policies.
  • Add note on correct pronunciation of "Dalai"

Homosexuality: "Dirty!"[edit]

I saw the Dalai Lama being asked on Irish or British television during the 1980s or early 1990s what was his view of either "homosexuals" or "homosexuality" and I was startled by his vivid and memorable reply: "Oh, dirty, dirty, dirty!" He was walking somewhere, as if going to or coming from a meeting, perhaps, and was accosted in a rather guerilla-journalist manner by some non-mainstream media people, as I recall. My memory of the circumstances has almost vanished. I cannot find any reference to this online and wonder if anyone else remembers seeing this broadcast. — O'Dea (talk) 13:23, 29 January 2014 (UTC)

He is absolutely right; it is dirty. But people can choose to be dirty if they want to. 81.151.237.33 (talk) 12:36, 14 March 2014 (UTC)
Since the 1980s, the Dali Lama's views on the subject have also seem to have evolved quite a lot. Chris Fynn (talk) 04:52, 3 May 2014 (UTC)
Yes, given gays provided him with quite a bit of cash funding. 81.151.237.246 (talk) 11:17, 19 May 2014 (UTC)

Why was the material about homosexuality deleted from the article? The Dimanche magazine is a reliable source for the interview cited. Cwobeel (talk) 04:05, 4 June 2014 (UTC)

@VictoriaGrayson: There are abundant sources that describes his view on homosexuality:

  • An Introduction to Buddhist Ethics: Foundations, Values and Issues [1]
  • Tragedy in Crimson: How the Dalai Lama Conquered the World But Lost the Battle with China [2]
  • Buddhist Ethics: A Very Short Introduction [3]

Cwobeel (talk) 04:12, 4 June 2014 (UTC)

No consensus for recent Dorje Shugden controversy content[edit]

I consider it highly unlikely that consensus will be achieved to include the recently discussed content. Perhaps someone might like to propose some brief scrupulously neutral language that links to Dorje Shugden controversy? Cullen328 Let's discuss it 17:15, 1 June 2014 (UTC)

Somewhere above, I suggested the following:
"The Dalai Lama has been criticised by some worshippers the controversial Tibetan spirit Dholgyal Shugden for discouraging and abjuring this practice which he regards as a harmful. He has said that, out of ignorance, he was once a follower of this "spirit", a practice he was introduced to by one of his tutors, but by the 1970's he ceased the practice after examining and researching it for himself. He has also said that it is his responsibility as a leader of Tibetan Buddhism to advise his followers about this practice. "How they choose to act on the basis of that knowledge is up to them". Since the Dalai Lama has publicly abjured this practice some of those who have continued worshipping the spirit claim they are now ostracised by the rest of the Tibetan community and complain they suffer as a consequence."
This states the that the DL has been criticised about this, that he once did the practice and abandoned it and briefly states his reasons for abjuring the practice and advising others against it. Also that DS practitioners claim they suffer as a consequence. While some may want to nitpick about certain words, no more than this is needed or justified in this article. Any more details should left to the Dorje Shugden or Dorje Shugden controversy articles. Chris Fynn (talk) 09:00, 2 June 2014 (UTC)
That is a good proposal that may resolve this dispute. Thanks for the effort, and hope it is adopted. Cwobeel (talk) 13:49, 5 June 2014 (UTC)
Just added Chris' suggestion with a few small changes. Kjangdom (talk) 22:09, 2 June 2014 (UTC)
Please don't make changes, and then claim you have consensus. Even if you didn't make changes, you would not have consensus. VictoriaGrayson (talk) 00:40, 5 June 2014 (UTC)
See below for the section about the Dorje Shugden controversy that I added:
"The Dalai Lama has been criticised by some worshippers of the Tibetan deity Dorje Shugden for discouraging and abjuring this practice which he regards as harmful. He has said that, out of ignorance, he was once a follower of this "spirit", a practice he was introduced to by one of his tutors, but by the 1970's he ceased the practice after examining and researching it for himself. He has also said that it is his responsibility as a leader of Tibetan Buddhism to advise his followers about this practice. "How they choose to act on the basis of that knowledge is up to them". Since the Dalai Lama has publicly abjured this practice some of those who have continued worshipping the deity claim they are now ostracised by the rest of the Tibetan community and that they suffer as a consequence."
This is almost identical to Chris' suggestion (see above). The changes I made included correcting a typo, changing Dholgyal to Dorje for consistency and to avoide confusion (the section is of course called the Dorje Shugden controversy, not the Dholgyal Shugden controversy). And I changed one reference of spirit to deity, since there is already one mention of spirit in the Dalai Lama's description of Dorje Shugden. Dorje Shugden is considered a deity by some, a spirit by others - this point is at the heart of the 'controversy'! Also, I took out complain, to make it more neutral. Complain = moan, no? Seemed slightly negative to me, and the way I reworded it did not affect the meaning. Hope this it explains it OK. Jangdom Kjangdom (talk) 12:22, 5 June 2014 (UTC)
Of course your changes affect the meaning. If they didn't affect the meaning, there would be no reason to make them. VictoriaGrayson (talk) 13:42, 5 June 2014 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I have implemented the proposal by @CFynn:, with the hope it is acceptable as a compromise and put this dispute to rest. Cwobeel (talk) 16:05, 5 June 2014 (UTC)

I made one small change - changing Dholgyal to Dorje. I made this change for the sake of consistency, the section is called the Dorje Shugden controversy (not the Dholgyal Shugden controversy). Moreover the main article referred to is called Dorje Shugden controversy (not Dholgyal Shugden controversy). This minor change merely is trying to avoid any possible confusion. I'd be happy to hear though, if there is a good reason for keeping "Dholgyal" :) Thank you. Kjangdom (talk) 16:36, 5 June 2014 (UTC)

Both Kjangdom and VictoriaGrayson are at the verge of crossing the 3RR bright line. I'd suggest to both to stop edit warring and discuss here, as we are very close to resolving this without anyone being blocked. Cwobeel (talk) 16:49, 5 June 2014 (UTC)

@Kjangdom: Dholgyal Shugden redirects to Dorje Shugden, so per WP:MOS we don't link to redirects. That is the reason it should be kept as Dorje Shugden. Now, please, lets put this to rest, OK? Cwobeel (talk) 16:53, 5 June 2014 (UTC)

Thanks very much for your input @Cwobeel: Helpful clarification about the redirect. I'd be happy to discuss more here in the future. (I have a couple more suggestions for this section... but we can come back to them!). I'd be interested to know more about 3RR - do you have a link you could share, or could you explain a little more exactly how the recent edits affect the 3RR? I had vaguely heard of the 3RR - I thought it was more about deleting other people's edits - hence why I thought it was OK to add content that had already been discussed. All the best, Jangdom Kjangdom (talk) 17:10, 5 June 2014 (UTC)
You were warned multiple times through discussion here and the edit summaries, to please not change Chris Fynn's wording and then claim you have consensus. Even after Cwobeel inserted Chris Fynn's unadulterated wording, you once again changed it. VictoriaGrayson (talk) 17:28, 5 June 2014 (UTC)
WP:3RR:The three-revert rule states:
Cwobeel (talk)
In my suggested text, I deliberately used "Dholgyal Shugden" rather than "Dorje Shugden" as this is how the Dalai Lama always refers to this entity - and, since the present article is about the Dali Lama, I think it best to use his own words here. "Dholgyal Shugden" could be kept and linked like this: [[Dorje Shugden|Dholgyal Shugden]] - which would avoid linking to a redirect page (the rationale given by Kjangdom for his change). Using the name "Dorje Shugden" in this article is problematic as the name itself reflects a view of this entity which the Dalai Lama, who is the subject of the article, does not hold. Similar case in the choice of "spirit" vs "deity". The Dalai Lama views this entity as a "malevolent spirit" not as a deity and does not use the later term when referring to it. Explanation of the fact that a portion of Tibetan Buddhists believe Shugden is a deity or enlightened dharma protector, while other Tibetan Buddhists including the Dalai Lama believe it is worldly spirit, should be left to the Dorje Shugden/Dorje Shugden controversy articles. (At least the differing sides seem to agree on one thing — that an entity, D. Shugden, exists. It is just the nature of that entity that they disagree on. Of course, to the rest of the world, D. Shugden is a superstition no more real than Santa Claus or leprechauns.) Chris Fynn (talk) 11:41, 6 June 2014 (UTC)
@CFynn: That is a good argument which can be easily understood. Go ahead and make the change, which I support. Cwobeel (talk) 14:36, 6 June 2014 (UTC)

CFynn, what do you think about getting rid of the last sentence "Since the Dalai Lama has publicly abjured this practice some of those who have continued worshiping the spirit claim they are now ostracized by the rest of the Tibetan community and complain they suffer as a consequence." That seems like quite a questionable statement to include in a WP:BLP. We must be extra careful in BLPs, as you know. VictoriaGrayson (talk) 16:56, 6 June 2014 (UTC)

What have the hundreds of Tibetan and Western demonstrators at the Dalai Lama's recent events [1][2][3][4][5][6] been 'complaining' about then? Kjangdom (talk) 17:24, 6 June 2014 (UTC)
My two cents: We certainly must be very careful but not to the point of sweeping under the carpet everything that may detract from a purely hagiographical biography. --Elnon (talk) 17:11, 6 June 2014 (UTC)
Good evening @Cwobeel, CFynn, VictoriaGrayson, Cullen328:
I would like to ask everyone to look a little more closely at this matter. There are two issues I would like to address - 'Dholgyal' vs 'Dorje' and 'spirit' vs 'deity'.
The redirect aside, another important reason for using Dorje rather than Dholgyal is simply to avoid confusion. Dorje Shugden (not Dholgyal Shugden) is mentioned:
1) In the table of contents (6.4 Dorje Shugden controversy)
2) As the title of this section (Dorje Shugden controversy)
3) In the subheader in italics (Main article: Dorje Shugden controversy)
And then in the very first sentence of this section we call Dorje Shugden, Dholgyal Shugden!! It is not difficult to see how this could easily lead to confusion for Wikipedia's readers here. Consistency would help avoid this problem.
Next, Chris says "since the present article is about the Dali Lama, I think it best to use his own words here". That is fine for when we are quoting the Dalai Lama, but otherwise, we should still be as neutral as possible. 'Dholgyal Shugden' is actually a derogatory name for 'Dorje Shugden'. Just because other famous people use derogatory / racist etc language, this is no reason for Wikipedia to adopt it as well. Moreover, if there was a general rule for using the actual words of the person the article is about, then there would be be some very odd pages on Wikipedia about various celebrities (no need to mention names). Fortunately there is no such rule or even guidelines to this effect.
Next, why do the following academics all use Dorje Shugden instead of Dholgyal? Because they all know that Dholgyal is a derogatory terms.
George D Chryssides (2001) Exploring new religions
Jane Ardley (2002) The Tibetan Independence Movement
Robert Bluck (2006) British Buddhism, Teachings, practice and development.
David Kay (1997) The New Kadampa Tradition and the Continuity of Tibetan Buddhism in Transition
David Kay (2004) Tibetan and Zen Buddhism is Britain
Martin Mills (2003). This Turbulent Priest: Contesting religious rights and the state in the Tibetan Shugden controversy
Martin A Mills (2009) Charting the Shugden Interdiction in the Western Himalaya
Glenn Mullin (2009) The fourteen Dalai Lamas
Lindsay McCune (2007) Tales of Intrigue from Tibet's Holy City
Please check the facts for yourself.
Moving on to 'spirit' vs 'deity', if we look a little more closely at the actual sentence, it says "worshippers of the Tibetan spirit". This is a false and misguiding statement. From a subjective point of view there are no worshippers of the Tibetan spirit Dholgyal Shugden. The worshippers of Dorje Shugden believe they are worshipping an enlightened being. Those such as the Dalai Lama believe they are not worshipping a Tibetan spirit. I.e. from a subjective point of view there are two camps - one camp that worships the enlightened being, Dorje Shugden, and another camp who does not worship the worldly spirit Dorje Shugden. If practitioners believed that Dorje Shugden was a spirit they would cease their practice, like the Dalai Lama did.
Furthermore, this first sentence is not a quote by the Dalai Lama, it is in the voice of Wikipedia. We are not saying that the Dalai Lama considers this entity to be a spirit - we are saying in the authoritative voice of Wikipedia that there exist spirit worshippers in the form of Dorje Shugden practitioners. This is wrong. In my opinion, to be called a spirit worshipper would necessarily be a negative slur, and it is completely inappropriate for Wikipedia to do this. Is it more offensive not to worship a 'controversial deity' or to worship a 'spirit'? I.e. Is it such a big deal not worship a 'controversial deity'? No. Is it such a big deal to be accused of worshipping a 'spirit'? Yes!
'Deity' on the other hand is much more neutral. There can be deities one propitiates, and other deities one would rather not.
Many view Dorje Shugden as an enlightened being, a Buddha. But I am not arguing for the inclusion of the word 'Buddha', I am arguing that 'deity' is a suitable compromise falling somewhere between 'spirit' and 'Buddha'. Please note that I am neither arguing for 'enlightened deity' - merely 'deity'.
Finally, please note that as early as the second sentence in this paragraph, the word 'spirit' is used, and rightfully so, it is in speech marks. So this view is still included. Therefore I would suggest changing 'spirit' to 'deity' but leaving 'spirit' where it is a direct quote of the Dalai Lama. Thank you :) Kjangdom (talk) 17:18, 6 June 2014 (UTC)

Unless there is a government, respected NGO, or academic which validates the claims of the mostly Caucasian protesters, that sentence should be omitted. VictoriaGrayson (talk) 17:54, 6 June 2014 (UTC)

Still no consensus[edit]

I am disappointed that there has been edit warring about adding a section without consensus. I think that there needs to be much more discussion about the wording. To start, I think the word "abjured" used twice is obscure and should be replaced with a word that better conveys the meaning with clarity. Then there is the issue of the words "Dholgyal" versus "Dorje". I understand that the first word has a more negative connotation than the second, but this is the biography of a man who uses the first word. I want to see an independent academic source say that the word is somehow inappropriate for us to use. Concerns about redirects and the table of contents are trivialities that can be easily solved. The section should begin by briefly explaining the Dalai Lama's expressed reasons for his stance, as this is a biography of him. The views of his opponents should follow. Most of the sources should be truly independent. The notion that the word "spirit" is insulting is not clear to most English speakers as that word has varied meanings, most with positive connotations. Christian Trinitarians call one of God's aspects the "Holy Spirit", after all. The final sentence about the hurt feelings suffers from excessive citations, none of which are available online or quoted. That's overkill and unconvincing. I want to read an actual paragraph or two from any such source. Consensus will emerge when most interested editors who come to this issue from a variety of backgrounds and viewpoints agree on the wording. Progress is possible, but not by trying to add a section that hasn't achieved consensus. Cullen328 Let's discuss it 05:56, 7 June 2014 (UTC)

I agree that consensus was never achieved. Thank you for pulling the section. VictoriaGrayson (talk) 15:36, 7 June 2014 (UTC)
Hi there! First of all, please accept my sincere apologies if my editing was not appreciated. I look forward to improving my style of editing and discussing more on the talk pages from now.
Now, I think we need to recognize the context in which the word 'spirit' is being used here - and the context is Buddhism, not Christianity. The practice of spirit worship simply does not exist in Buddhism. It is not a Buddhist practice. Any attempt at calling Buddhist practitioners spirt worshippers is necessarily a slur. It's as simple as that. 'Deity' on the other hand is much more neutral than 'spirit'. There are both worldly protector deities - (as cited here Martin A Mills (2009) Charting the Shugden Interdiction in the Western Himalaya) and of course deities that are considered enlightened beings. Therefore by using the word 'deity' we are neither affirming that it is a worldly being, nor that it is an enlightened being. Also, as I mentioned in a previous post, please note that I am not suggesting we use 'enlightened deity', merely 'deity'. To maintain neutrality, 'spirit' should only be used when it is a direct quote by the Dalai Lama.
Furthermore, 'deity' is the term most commonly used by academics to describe Dorje Shugden:
Here are some examples:
The following academics use the phrase 'Protector deity':
  • Robert Bluck (2006) 'British Buddhism, Teachings, practice and development'
  • David Kay (2004) Tibetan and Zen Buddhism is Britain
  • Martin A Mills (2009) Charting the Shugden Interdiction in the Western Himalaya
And 'Dharma Protector' is used in the following article:
  • Glenn Mullin (2009) The fourteen Dalai Lamas
And 'Tibetan deity' is used in the following article:
  • Martin Mills (2003). This Turbulent Priest: Contesting religious rights and the state in the Tibetan Shugden controversy
However, if we follow the logic that the opinion / language of the person the article is about should determine the language of the article, (not least would this lead to a number ridiculous pages about various celebrities etc), but what about when the person in question changes their mind!
E.g. In 2014 Wikipedia states that "The Dalai Lama has been criticised by some worshippers the controversial Tibetan spirit Dholgyal Shugden". Then in 2020 for example, the Dalai Lama changes his mind and decides that Dorje Shugden is actually an enlightened deity, a Buddha, after all! Then simply at the whim of the Dalai Lama, history is re-written since Wikipedia is then obliged to write "The Dalai Lama has been criticized by some worshippers of the controversial Tibetan enlightened deity Dorje Shugden...". Does the Dalai Lama have the right to decide on behalf of the world's entire population of Shugden practitioners that they are first worshipping an enlightened deity, then a spirit, then an enlightened deity again?! And this analogy is not far fetched. The Dalai Lama has already changed his mind once about the nature of Dorje Shugden, so why not a second time? And as you may know, the 5th Dalai Lama who was against the practice of Dorje Shugden (and who the 14th Dalai Lama frequently mentions) eventually took refuge in, worshipped, and wrote praises to Dorje Shugden at the end of his life. Who is to say the 14th Dalai Lama won't do the same?
Next, regarding 'Dholgyal' vs. 'Dorje' - simply because the Dalai Lama uses the derogatory expression 'Dholgyal' is completely irrelevant as I have already explained. A quote from the Dalai Lama should be in speech marks. Otherwise the most neutral language should be used. All nine references I mentioned in an earlier post about 'Dholgyal' vs. 'Dorje' (Bluck, Kay, Mills etc) were simply the first sources I found that mentioned 'Shugden'. Of these nine sources, every single one of them them used 'Dorje Shugden'. I.e. Not one of them uses 'Dholgyal Shugden' (and I gave up looking after 9 references, since it was completely unanimous on this point). This in itself clearly demonstrates what Wikipedia should use, without needing to dig around for a paper that shows that the word is inappropriate. Dholgyal is a derogatory term. It may be less familar than other derogatory terms (used in a racist context for example), but the fact remains that this word is derogatory and offensive to Dorje Shugden practitioners. This is why all neutral parties still refer to Dorje Shugden, and Wikpedia should do the same! Look forward to reading your replies :) Kjangdom (talk) 22:04, 7 June 2014 (UTC)

At this time, I don't think we should insert a Dorje Shugden Controversy section.VictoriaGrayson (talk) 22:34, 7 June 2014 (UTC)

I agree. There seems to be consensus that a section on the Dorje Shugden controversy should only be inserted when more of a consensus is reached on its contents. Then without doubt, it should be included! This article should no way be a hagiographical biography. The Dalai Lama has various roles, one of them being a politician. Kjangdom (talk) 09:33, 8 June 2014 (UTC)
I don't think we should insert a Dorje Shugden Controversy section at all.VictoriaGrayson (talk) 22:36, 8 June 2014 (UTC)
Kjangdom, when you say that a word is a "slur" or that a word is "derogatory", you can't just expect other editors to take your word for it. It would be vastly more convincing if you quoted an independent, reliable source. We are discussing a controversy. Dorje Shugden supporters may be offended by what the Dalai Lama says. His supporters may be offended by pro-Shugden picketers hollering that he is a dictator. We don't go out of our way to offend people , but we also don't bend over backwards to avoid offending people. As for the possibility that the Dalai Lama might change his mind, then we will simply edit the article to reflect his changed opinion. We are writing about what is verifiable about now and the past. We are not gazing into a crystal ball. Cullen328 Let's discuss it 23:05, 7 June 2014 (UTC)
OK, let me put it this way instead - can anyone present a valid reason why should Wikipedia use 'Dholgyal' & 'spirit' when all other reliable, neutral sources (at least that I've seen, as mentioned above) use 'Dorje' and 'deity'? Please check the sources I mentioned above for yourself. This should help arrive at some clarity on these two points. As mentioned before, the Dalai Lama's own language is irrelant when writing in the voice of Wikipedia. Kjangdom (talk) 09:26, 8 June 2014 (UTC)
Cullen328I really do not follow your argument at the moment. This point of this article is not to present the Dalai Lama's views in the voice of Wikipedia. Which other articles on Wikipedia present the views of the subject in the voice of Wikipedia? Forgive me for stating the obvious, but this article has to be neutral. Presenting the Dalai Lama's views in the voice of Wikipedia - which is what you are suggesting (unless I misunderstand you) - is simply unacceptable. It was the Dalai Lama's view that Dorje Shugden practitioners were worshipping an enlightened deity. Now it is the Dalai Lama's view that Dorje Shugden practitioners worship a spirit (this statement has more to do with the worshippers themselves than the Dalai Lama). According to your logic, Wikipedia is in the position to publicly state this as a fact (a fact that changes, or at least has changed at the whim of one man). This is absurd. Please reconsider your argument. Kjangdom (talk) 09:49, 8 June 2014 (UTC)
Yes, you misunderstood me, Kjangdom, and you are criticizing an argument I have not made. Of course, we should not endorse the Dalai Lama's theological points in Wikipedia's voice. Instead, we use formulations like "The Dalai Lama teaches that . . . ", when describing his views. Or, we can use brief direct quotes from him, in quotation marks, cited to the source. Any quotes should be from an authoritative statement on the matter, not some off-the-cuff comment. To answer your question about the use of "Dholgyal" and "sprit", we should use those words when describing the 14th Dalai Lama's views, not as an endorsement of them, but because he uses them when expressing his views on the matter, and this is a biography of him. It is a fact worth mentioning that he teaches that way, but Wikipedia should avoid stating or implying that any religious view is true. That applies as well to every Dorje Shugden related article, and every single Wikipedia article about religious doctrines. Cullen328 Let's discuss it 16:16, 8 June 2014 (UTC)

First off, I still oppose the section. Secondly, Pabongka, the ultimate Shugden authority, referred to Shugden as Dolgyal:

  • "The wooden implements (i.e., crate) having been thrown in the water, the pond of Dol became whitish. After abiding there, he became known for a while as (Dol-gyel) [sic]." (from Dreyfus' Shugden Affair Part 1)

So Kjangdom is saying Pabongka is wrong. Heicth (talk) 16:43, 8 June 2014 (UTC)

Hi Heicth, I am not saying Je Pabongka is wrong. The only person I know of who publicly denounces their lineage gurus as being "wrong, yes wrong" is the 14th Dalai Lama - see for yourself [7]
I would like to check the article you mention (could you email it to me?), but if I understood correctly, this was a direct quote by Je Pabongkha? Even so, there is no contradiction between Je Pabongkha intending one meaning with the word Dholgyal and this meaning changing over time. When did Pabongkha die? 1941 I believe. Sources / quotes over 70 years old can easily be irrelvant now. Do you have a neutral source which is a little more recent on this matter?
The reason Dholgyal is a derogatory term is because it means "Spirit King from Dhol". Dhol is an actual place in Tibet and Gyal(po) refers to spirit kings [8]. As already explained, spirit worship is not a Buddhist practice. This is why this is a derogatory term and used only to offend Shugden practitioners.
If anyone is still in doubt about this point, a brief google of dolgyal + derogatory should help. Kjangdom (talk) 14:55, 9 June 2014 (UTC)
You are very clearly saying Pabongkha is wrong. Dreyfus quotes Pabongkha in his article here.Heicth (talk) 15:26, 9 June 2014 (UTC)

Cullen328 Let's discuss it 16:59, 28 June 2014 (UTC)

Time to reach consensus around Dorje Shugden controversy[edit]

There has been quite a lot of discussion around including a short section on the Dorje Shugden controversy. Based on Cflynn's original suggestion I propose the inclusion following section (at least for starters):

The Dalai Lama has been criticized by some worshippers of the Tibetan deity Dorje Shugden for discouraging and abjuring this practice which he regards as harmful. He has said that, out of ignorance, he was once a follower of this "spirit", a practice he was introduced to by one of his tutors, but by the 1970's he ceased the practice after examining and researching it for himself. He has also said that it is his responsibility as a leader of Tibetan Buddhism to advise his followers about this practice. "How they choose to act on the basis of that knowledge is up to them". Since the Dalai Lama has publicly abjured this practice some of those who have continued worshiping the deity claim they are now ostracized by the rest of the Tibetan community and that they suffer as a consequence.

Above on this talk page I have explained why 'deity' should be used instead of spirit and why 'Dorje' should be used instead of 'Dholgyal'.

If someone believes this section should not be included I would ask that you actually give a valid reason (rather than just stating that you don't think we should add such a section, as this adds nothing to the debate). I also ask editors who are opposed to the inclusion of a section about the Dorje Shugden controversy to explain why the other controversies that are included in this article are more important / relevant than this section. Look forwarding to moving forward on this issue now! Jangdom :) Kjangdom (talk) 22:07, 26 June 2014 (UTC)

This does seem sensible. We of course would want some sources here to establish any of the points brought up. I would say this is fair as it presents the Dalai Lama's point of view in a way that doesn't defame him or doesn't speak badly about him, but just shows that there is a criticism of a certain denouncement he has made. Also, its nice that it is brief, as making it too long would give the section too much weight in the article about him.Prasangika37 (talk) 07:27, 27 June 2014 (UTC)
OK cool. What do other people think about this? @Cullen328, VictoriaGrayson, John Carter, CFynn: ???

Based on an academic journal article, any proposed section should be more like:

The Dalai Lama's opposition to Shukden is motivated by his return to a more traditional stance in which this deity is seen as incompatible with the vision of the tradition (the “clan”) represented by the Fifth Dalai Lama. The Dalai Lama has a commitment to another protector, Nechung, who is said to resent Shukden. The propitiation of Shugden is a relatively recent invention associated with Pabongkha.

VictoriaGrayson (talk) 16:47, 27 June 2014 (UTC)

I'd be grateful if @VictoriaGrayson: could explain why "any proposed section" should be more like the suggested quote. That was quite a bold statement with no further explanation, so it is difficult to follow your train of thought.
Regarding the suggested quote, it is simply not correct to say "The Dalai Lama's opposition to Shukden is motivated by his return to a more traditional stance". In no Buddhist tradition is giving up a heart practice one has received from one's guru (and publicly denouncing one's gurus) considered a traditional practice. Quite the opposite, it goes against the root of the spiritual path. If we want to talk about the Dalai Lama's motivation for banning the practice of Dorje Shugden, here are a couple of ideas:
(i) To weaken the Gelug school, and integrate all four schools of Tibetan Buddhism into one, of which he is the head.
(ii) To act as a scapegoat for his failure to accomplish a free Tibet in over 60 years.
However, there will be different opinions on what the Dalai Lama's real motivation is for banning the practice of Dorje Shugden, so it might be easiest to avoid this point all together?
Also 'invention' sounds very odd to me in this context. Since when was the propitiation of Buddhist deities commonly referred to in this way?!!
But perhaps we could add a sentence about the Dalai Lama's reliance on Nechung to the first suggestion if people really think it adds value, and can think of a way of including it so that this section doesn't get too long. Even though there's lots to say on the Dalai Lama's involvement in the Dorje Shugden controversy, I don't think this section should be too long. We want to give space for the other controversies the Dalai Lama is involved in as well.
Does anyone have any specific suggestions / improvements to the first suggestion (above)? Kjangdom (talk) 01:32, 28 June 2014 (UTC)
I'm going by the journal article. Did you read it?VictoriaGrayson (talk) 05:32, 28 June 2014 (UTC)
I disagree with use of "abjured" which is an obscure word to most readers. I object to the phrase "out of ignorance" without rock solid sourcing. Any quotes must be referenced; that is policy. We also need solid independent sourcing on issues like "ostracism" and "suffering". So, I will continue to oppose this version. Cullen328 Let's discuss it 16:59, 28 June 2014 (UTC)
I agree with Cullen328.VictoriaGrayson (talk) 18:07, 28 June 2014 (UTC)
Good idea to replace 'abjure' with a less obscure word. Will give this section a little more thought and hopefully come up with an improved version within the next day or two, unless someone else gets there first!
Victoriagrayson - I haven't read the article you refer to yet, but I plan to. In the meantime, I would recommend that you (and anyone else who is genuinely interested in this article and the 'controversy' in quetsion) read the following short e-book (which has an abundance of 'solid independent sourcing') http://internationalshugdencommunity.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/The_False_Dalai_Lama.pdf . Jangdom Kjangdom (talk) 20:01, 28 June 2014 (UTC)

A suggestion for "rock solid sourcing" - this verifiable quotation from the Dalai Lama's website doesn't say "out of ignorance" but says "To begin with, in the past, when even I was not aware of the issues involved." http://www.dalailama.com/messages/dolgyal-shugden/speeches-by-his-holiness/dharamsala-teaching Beeflin (talk) 22:03, 29 June 2014 (UTC)

As to the Dalai Lama's motivation: I say let people say what their own motivation was, and let us speak of the effects of their actions, but we can't know what another's motivation was surely enough to expect our mere opinion to stand in Wikipedia. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Beeflin (talkcontribs) 22:06, 29 June 2014 (UTC)

@Cullen328, VictoriaGrayson, John Carter, CFynn, Prasangika37: I have tried to include some of the above suggestions in this new and improved section (e.g. removed 'abjured' and 'out of ignorance' and included a number of rock solid independent sources). What do you think now?
The Dalai Lama has been criticized by some worshippers of the Tibetan deity Dorje Shugden for opposing this practice. He has said that he was a follower of this "spirit"[9] - a practice he was introduced to by his junior tutor, Trijang Lobsang Yeshe Tenzin Gyatso - until 1975, but then he ceased the practice after "long and careful investigations".[10] In March 1996 the Dalai Lama "strongly advised his followers not to rely on the Dharmapala Dorje Shugden because, according to the prophecies of his oracles, Dorje Shugden harms the institution of Dalai Lama, his life, his government, and the cause of Tibet."[11] The Dalai Lama's opposition to the practice of Shugden is considered by some to constitute a prohibition. Others disagree: Thierry Dodin says "No, such a prohibition does not exist. Religious freedom is not at issue here. No one, and most definitely not the Dalai Lama, is repressing religious freedom." However, some practitioners claim that they face ostracism[12][13]in their communities if they do not renounce the practice of Dorje Shugden. According to Lopez, "The Dalai Lama's renunciation of Shugden caused great discord within the Geluk community, where devotion to the deity remained strong among the Geluk hierarchy and among large factions of the refugee lay com­munity". [14]

Forgot to sign the above post the other day. Jangdom Kjangdom (talk) 21:27, 1 July 2014 (UTC)

I think the above section looks very good. I hope others will agree that it has real balance. Beeflin (talk) 10:44, 1 July 2014 (UTC)

It's better than no section at all as is currently the case. --Elnon (talk) 23:14, 1 July 2014 (UTC)
@Elnon:, perhaps you could present a valid reason for this statement.
I think the above section on the Dorje Shugden controversy is balanced, short, neutral and well referenced with reliable sources. What do you other editors think? @Cullen328, VictoriaGrayson, John Carter, CFynn, Prasangika37: Kjangdom (talk) 16:02, 2 July 2014 (UTC)
I didn't mean to say there was something amiss with the section, it's just that it took a long time for the wording to be thrashed out, but the end result is fine. --Elnon (talk) 21:11, 2 July 2014 (UTC)
No objections here. John Carter (talk) 21:22, 2 July 2014 (UTC)
@Elnon: Just realized I misread your first comment, so please ignore my request for 'a valid reason...'. Sorry about that. Glad you agree that it is better to include a section on this important topic than not. Kjangdom (talk) 23:42, 2 July 2014 (UTC)
This seems good to me. I appreciate the inclusion of the fact that some think this is not the case as it keeps a more balanced point of view. We definitely need to include both (Not just there IS ostracism, but some are experiencing it BUT some say this is not true)..as it is quite controversial.Prasangika37 (talk) 14:05, 3 July 2014 (UTC)
Seems like there is consensus to include the above section, so I will add it now. Kjangdom (talk) 15:18, 3 July 2014 (UTC)
Consensus? I still don't know why this article, which is about the 14th Dalai Lama, needs have much more than an outline of his own views on the matter and to say that there is a controversy about this. Should readers wish to know more, all the details are in the clearly linked Dorje Shugden controversy article. Those claiming "consensus" are Kjangdom who says he is a "practitioner of the Wisdom Buddha, Dorje Shugden" and "most interested in editing pages to do with Dorje Shugden"; and Prasangika37, who says he is a follower of "Kadampa Buddhism", may have a particular dog in this race and may not be the best ones to decide. Chris Fynn (talk) 11:05, 4 July 2014 (UTC)
I agree with CFynn.VictoriaGrayson (talk) 17:31, 4 July 2014 (UTC)
This article is not about the views about the Dalai Lama. That is why it is incorrect to include only his views on this matter. It is about the Dalai Lama himself and one of the most defining aspects of his life is his ban on the practice of Dorje Shugden, because of the far reaching implications of this action. The section on the Dorje Shugden controversy is of a similar length to the other controversies in this article. It is very neutral and well referenced and is the culmination of a number of editors, including yourself CFynn! I have not decided unilaterally on the content of this section. If had done, believe me it would look very different. I have genuinely tried to reach a consensus on this matter and we have used a month or so on this discussion. But of course, what you consider consensus might not be the same as what I consider consensus. Does anyone have a concrete suggestion how to actually improve this section then? If not, then I suggest we leave it as it is. Kjangdom (talk) 10:25, 5 July 2014 (UTC)


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