A letter to the future Dalai Lama

by the Ven. J.M. Dharmakara Boda, The Mahabodhi Maitri Mandala in America, Published on the Buddhist Channel, June 20, 2007

Los Angeles, CA (USA) -- In "What now for the Dalai Lama", Rosslyn Beeby states that the 14th Dalai Lama is (was) renowned for his sense of humour and ability to undercut formality with well-timed wit and ironic understatement, but in the typical fashion of Western media she ignored the things about Tibetan Buddhism which fail to get talked about, the issues that Tibetan Buddhism as a whole tries to sweep under the carpet.

<< The Dalai Lama

Let's talk about the violence and bloodshed which is the history of Tibetan Buddhism, where knowledge of the Sutras is only second to the knowledge of poisons.

Let's talk about the infighting between the various Tibetan fractions which continue to the present day.

Let's talk about the Tibetan monks taking up guns and other weapons in their failed revolt against the communist governement of China.

Let's talk about the money the 14th Dalai Lama received from the American government, $180,000 a year, while his brother trained Tibetans in guerrilla warfare.

Let's talk about the 1993 murder of three high ranking monks in Dharmasala and not forget that it occured near the residence of the 14th Dalai Lama (anyone who has visited Dharmasala and who is aware of the security measures in place should be questioning how this occurred).

Let's talk about Tibetan Buddhism in general, where guru worship and the spirit of denial is so strong that Osel Tendzin could not only sexually abuse students, but infect many with HIV, even though many were aware of his behavior as it was occuring.

As a survivor of Osel Tendzin, having lived with HIV for over twenty years, these would be the issues that I would like to see addressed, not the self-serving rhetoric of Tibetan masters who look at the West as if it's their personal piggy bank.

Let my abuser be my best teacher, a true statement, for I am not a victim of Osel Tendzin, but a surviver of him, though this doesn't mean that anyone should turn their eyes away from suffering or its cause, even if it brings pain to put it into words.

Although many Buddhists consider such conversation to be inappropriate or "un-Buddhist", let's not forget that if through our silence we have allowed other sentient beings to be abused or injured, then we are as guilty as the perpetrator of that abuse or injury.

No one needs to be a rocket scientist to understand the validity of cause and effect, as well as the reality of collective karma in any given society --- just look at Tibet and you will have your answer.

Is the future Dalai Lama no longer relevant or useful?

Yes, because Tibetan Buddhism, by it's own behavior, has made sure of this.

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