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Dalai Lama stresses non-sectarian Buddhist practices

His Holiness the Dalai Lama speaking during the 33rd Kalachakra Empowerment in Leh, Ladakh, J&K, India on July 11, 2014. Photo courtesy/Manuel Bauer
His Holiness the Dalai Lama speaking during the 33rd Kalachakra Empowerment in Leh, Ladakh, J&K, India on July 11, 2014.  Photo courtesy/Manuel Bauer

(TibetanReview.net, Jul12, 2014) – Continuing his Kalachakra teachings in the Ladakh region of the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir, beginning Jul 3, the Dalai Lama on Jul 10 told a crowd which had swelled to around 144,000 that those propitiating the controversial spirit Dolgyal should not take part in the empowerment. He said doing so would give rise to the breach of the sacred teacher- disciple relationship while stressing the importance of respecting other Buddhist traditions.

He said that Dolgyal arose during the time of the 5th Dalai Lama in the 17th century, that the latter had from that time itself seen the former as an evil spirit who harms both the Dharma and living beings. He has pointed it out as being said that if a Gelugpa kept Nyingma texts or images in his home, Dolgyal would punish him.

He added that while he propitiated Dolgyal over a period of time out of ignorance, he could neither study nor practise the teachings of other Buddhist traditions.

While advising Dolgyal followers not to take part in his empowerment teachings, the Dalai Lama clarified that it was still up to the concerned individuals to decide whether they will continue the worship.

The Dalai Lama also stressed that although people may belong to Nyingma, Sakya, Kagyu, Gelug or Bön, all should respect each other’s different traditions. “Ecumenism, non-sectarianism, is important and the great Tibetan masters practised it,” he said.

And he advised: “These days I meet Westerners who seem much attached to this or that tradition, claiming to belong exclusively to the Gelug or Kagyu traditions. Lamas should not teach their disciples to adopt such postures, but should instead foster mutual respect among our traditions.”

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