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Dalai Lama Loves Everyone… Except For Dorje Shugden Buddhists

Dalai Lama Loves Everyone... Except For Dorje Shugden Buddhists 86

The 14th Dalai Lama, Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader, has for decades travelled the world with a message of peace, compassion and love that has won him hundreds of followers and admirers, made him one of the most respected and recognised religious leaders around Earth and got him the 1989 Nobel Peace Prize.

“Love, kindness, compassion and tolerance are qualities common to all the great religions,” he wrote on his Facebook page. He has brought his message to Christian, Jewish and Muslim leaders, such as Catholic Popes john Paul II and Benedict XVI, and lately spoke on behalf of the Rohingya muslims since they suffer ferocious persecution in their predominantly Buddhist Myanmar home, sometimes at the hands of Buddhist monks.

However, the Dalai Lama’s tolerance doesn’t seem to expand to devotees of Dorje Shugden, a contentious Buddhist deity to whom the Dalai Lama himself has admitted that he used to offer prayers before announcing it to be a malign spirit. Such appears to be his aversion to Shugden practitioners he has asked them to not attend religious parties where he is present.

He has since 1976 affirmed on several different occasions that the practice of paying devotion to Dorje Shugden shortens the life of the Dalai Lama, promotes sectarianism among Buddhists and signifies a “danger to the cause of Tibet”. Through such remarks, Tibet’s de facto religious leader efficiently issued a prohibition against the practice, resulting in ostracism of its practitioners by the wider Tibetan Buddhist community.

Some Shugden practitioners say that this is comparable to the Pope threatening excommunication for people who promote devotion to the Virgin Mary or Saint Francis. Such high-handed actions would meet with fierce opposition both from people and from orders like the Franciscans and the Marists. All would no doubt consider themselves practising Catholics despite their obvious disobedience to a figure that, in Catholic doctrine, is God’s representative on earth.

An issue of emphasis

The Dorje Shugden deity is believed by some to be among many protectors of the “Geluk”, or”yellow hat” school of Tibetan Buddhism to which the Dalai Lamas belong and whose adherents are known as “Gelukpas”. Critics state worship of this deity promotes divisions among the four major schools of Tibetan Buddhism, all which share the same fundamental doctrine, and whose differences lie mostly in the emphasis they put on various Buddhist scriptures.

“The hub of the dispute is contrasting views on sectarianism and the correct path for Yellow Hat Buddhism,” wrote M.A. Aldrich in a December 2016 article at The Diplomat. “The Shugden followers insist upon an aggressive purge of heterodox forms of Tibetan Buddhism while the Dalai Lama has called for non-sectarian cooperation among all branches of Tibet’s religions.”

Shugden practitioners have worshipped among “Yellow Hat” Buddhists for some 350 years. If they’ve pursued an”aggressive purge” of different kinds of Buddhism, as their accusers state, how can it be that all four main schools of Buddhism generally flourished over such an extended period?

Moreover, since Shugden devotion has been an accepted practice for most of this period of time, what has changed since the Dalai Lama fled Tibet in 1959 after a failed uprising against Chinese Rule?

“The Dalai Lama believes that aggressive sectarianism threatens Tibetan unity,” wrote Aldrich. “He has decreed that while the followers of Dorje Shugden may continue to worship the deity, his own followers should not permit devotees of Shugden to be initiated into the Kalachakra.”  The Kalachakra is a intricate system of doctrine and meditation in Tantric Buddhism and exclusion from it is seen by many as a significant penalty.

Though the Dalai Lama has said his statements don’t amount to a ban on the practice, the Central Tibetan Authority — the Tibetan government in exile in India — taking its lead from the religious leader — has made a range of moves to ostracise Shugden practitioners. A 1996 CTA resolution involves a clause which states: “if individual citizens propitiate Shugden, it will harm the common interest of Tibet, the life of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and strengthen the spirits that are against the religion.”

Other branches of the exiled government immediately fell into line after this resolution. For instance, a 1996 directive from the CTA’s department of health said “if there is anyone who worships Dorje Shugden, they should repent the past and stop worshipping. They must submit a declaration that they will not worship in the future.”

Demonizing worshippers

Jamyang Norbu, a Tibetan political activist who favours the independence of the area rather than greater autonomy under the Chinese authorities, states that although the Dalai Lama has every right to object to Shugden practices on theological grounds, Buddhists ought to be free in their devotional practices.

“The trouble is that the Tibetan government has been inducted to implement the Dalai Lama’s proscription of Shugden worship,” wrote Norbu. “The Tibetan government claims it has not issued any orders or appeals to people to harass or fight Shugden worshippers. Yet it has produced and distributed literature and videos demonizing Shugden worshippers.”

Norbu is nevertheless highly critical of those outspoken Shugden activists who’ve picketed a number of the Dalai Lama’s public appearances, trying to drown out his words, chanting abuse while making no attempt to engage into dialogue. He has stated, however, that additional effort can be made to achieve an understanding with those Shugden acolytes who continue to accept the Dalai Lama as their spiritual leader.

One such is Tsem Tulku Rinpoche, the Malaysian based ‘spiritual advisor to Kechara’ Buddhist Temple and Shugden practitioner, who earlier this year said that he was”ecstatic” about what he known to be a perceived softening of the Dalai Lama’s position vis-à-vis Shugden practitioners.

A number of Shugden centers, such as Kechara, state they’re not in any way active in the autonomy debate, nor have no curiosity about overtures from China.

Tsem Tulku Rinpoche says he has for decades resisted the scapegoating of the Shugden spiritual practice, looking for a peaceful end to a conflict that has already weakened the beleaguered community of Tibetan refugees and their Tibetan government in exile. Additionally, supporters say the exception of Shugden practitioners isn’t compliant with the Tibetan constitution, nor Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights that embodies the notion of religious liberty.

Another notable Shugden exponent to come under pressure would be Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, religious leader of the New Kadampa Tradition. Supporters maintain these two leaders have worked tirelessly spread of the Geluk tradition globally. However, while the New Kadampa tradition has protested the Dalai Lama vociferously, Tsem Tulku’s Kechara followers have sought to avoid this conflict.

Nevertheless, the vilification of the practice persists. In late 2016an official correspondence from the Tashi Dargyeling Monastery — as translated on a Shugden-leaning website — seemed to promote measures against Shugden professionals which bear all the hallmarks of religious persecution. People who continue to worship the deity, or just maintain relationships with practitioners, are told that the monks of the monastery won’t perform prayers in their homes or funeral rights for members of the family — somewhat equal to being excommunicated from the Catholic Church.

Earlier in 2016, a Monastic University in the Tibetan exile community stated that it had introduced an identity badge program for its monks to indicate they weren’t “Dolgyal propitiating monks”. Dolgyal is a derogatory term used for Shugden devotees. Monks who practiced dedication to the Dorje Shugden weren’t welcome in the school, it was understood.

More alarming still, there also have been widespread reports of beatings, vandalism and death threats targeted at practitioners, a lot of whom say they’ve been forced into the boundaries of their communities, or to leave them completely.

A Chinese angle

“There’s a lot of passion around this (issue) from Shugden practitioners, and the Chinese have fostered this Shugden worship as a way to split Tibetans,” explained Kelley Currie, a senior State Department adviser on Asia and Tibet from 2007 to 2009, told Reuters in a December 2015 report. Currie has worked for the International Campaign for Tibet, an advocacy group promoting human rights for Tibetans.

In the last several years, Dorje Shugden professionals have been denounced as stooges of China who support Beijing rule in Tibet. They’re accused of allowing China to exploit divisions among Tibetan Buddhists and worse, accepting Chinese backing to foment discord among the exiled Tibetan community.

Their virulent opponents have established a string of attacks through social media, including a high number of heavily-worded insults and threats on Twitter, Facebook and elsewhere, couched in an occasionally violent speech rarely associated with Buddhism. Shugden proponents who share their spiritual practices online say they risk a co-ordinated deluge of frequently ad hominem attacks.

The timeline of events additionally indicates it had been the edicts and pronouncements from the Shugden practice which generated the discord within the Buddhist ranks in the first place. If Shugden acolytes were permitted to keep their worship practices unmolested by other factions within the Buddhist community, as they’ve done publicly for 350 years, there could possibly be no schism to exploit.

In effect it seems that it was just after the Dalai Lama spoke against the practice that the Chinese authorities made its first tentative approaches to Shugden practitioners, possibly sensing a chance to exploit the rift and weaken the push for Tibetan autonomy.

Nevertheless, China is not involved in the demonstrations, said Sonam Rinchen, a U.S. based Tibetan national, as mentioned in the Reuters piece. “I am sure they are pleased, but we do not protest to please China,” he explained. “We are interested in getting our religious freedom back.”

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Spirituality

Indigo boy Anand predicts the disaster of “Six Stars” in February, opens a website

Indigo boy Anand predicts the disaster of "Six Stars" in February, opens a website 99

Abhigya Anand, a popular Indian indigo boy, predicted that under the influence of six stars , an astonishing disaster might happen in February 2021. In addition, Anand announced at the beginning of the new year that he had set up a personal official website to post messages to get rid of social media censorship and fake messages.

” Six Stars” in February 2021

14-year-old Indian boy Anand became popular online because he predicted the outbreak of the epidemic last year. He also predicted that the world would be in danger from November 2020 to November 2021.

He said that Jupiter will enter Capricorn in November 2020, and the disaster will begin again. In particular, the rare conjunction between Jupiter and Saturn on December 21, 2020 will affect the earth, from wars, epidemics to economic collapse, and there may be problems with the vaccine being developed. 

A mutated strain first appeared in the UK. This new strain has a 70% higher transmission rate than the old strain, and has spread to more than 50 countries, and the mutated virus has turned to attack young adults, and many adults Died in the virus. As of January 12, the number of people diagnosed worldwide was 91.38 million, which is equivalent to 1 in every 100 people. All this has confirmed Anand’s prediction about the epidemic.

Anand even predicted that on February 10, 2021, there will be a “six-star connection”, that is, the sun, Venus, Mercury, Jupiter, Saturn and the moon will be connected in a straight line, just like a candied haw. This means that greater dark forces will impact the earth, and there may be astonishing disasters, and the economy may even collapse.

At present, all parts of the world have begun to take measures to close the city and curfew. Will these measures be implemented wrongly? People don’t work anymore. If you don’t work and just eat, how long can you say this economy can withstand?

Anand said that until Jupiter enters Aquarius in November 2021, most of the disasters caused by these astronomical changes will gradually disappear and the world economy will begin to recover.

Anand predictable manner is the use of “Vedic astrology “, also known as ” Indian astrology ” (Jyotish Astrology), it originated in the ancient Indian system of astrology, and Western astrology is different. And 14-year-old Anand is already a master of Vedic astrology.

In addition to being proficient in “Vedic Astrology “, Anand is also familiar with Ayurveda (Ayurveda, refers to Indian traditional medicine), Sanskrit and management. He has obtained a master’s degree in herbal microbiology and is studying for a PhD in financial astrology, so Anand is a real super genius.

Anand sets up an official website

Due to unexplained reasons, YouTube has repeatedly deleted videos, so Anand set up a personal official website (abhigyaanand.com). Friends who are interested in his predictions can now go to his website to watch his videos freely. Log in to the website to directly obtain his updated information, avoiding the interference of Internet censorship and false messages.

In the introduction video, Anand stated in words:

“Tubing has been desperately deleting Anand’s predictions, and these predictions are now being fulfilled. Therefore, we are launching our website to you.”

Anand’s website, for example, predicted in a short film published on April 1, 2020, that “the next (epidemic) outbreak will occur around December 20, 2020.” However, this short film was deleted by YouTube on May 16, and was re-uploaded by a third party.

Anand reminded people in the comment area at the bottom of the video that he does not have any Facebook, Twitter or Reddit accounts. Now someone is issuing false predictions in his name, don’t believe it. 

He said, “Having a social media account does not help. We try to use every alternative platform.”

Anand wrote:

“Because Youtube deleted the film without any reason, threatening Internet freedom, and some people deliberately faked it, so he created a personal website.”

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An ancient Greek inscription of 1,500 years dedicated to Christ was discovered in Israel

An ancient Greek inscription of 1,500 years dedicated to Christ was discovered in Israel 100

The team is sure that the inscription comes from a church and not from a monastery. The discovery was reported by the Israeli Foreign Ministry with reference to the Antiquities Authority. It was performed in the Jezreel Valley, which since ancient times was the main battlefield of biblical Israel.

An inscription 1,500 years old writes in ancient Greek “Christ, born of Mary”. This was found by a team of archaeologists in an excavation in northern Israel, a text that was placed above the church door to ward off evil spirits.

The phrase was used by Christians to exorcise the evil eye, a superstition of the Greeks and Romans.

The inscription was discovered during the excavation of the ruins of a once magnificent Byzantine church, probably built during the early Islamic period. The church came to light during the mandatory excavations to cross the new road to the Jezreel Valley.

The researchers also established the identity of Theodosius mentioned in the text, who founded this church. This was one of the first Christian bishops. He was an influential person, the supreme religious leader of the Metropolitanate of Bet Shean, to which the modern village of al-Tayyib belonged.

“This is the first evidence of the existence of a Byzantine church in the village of et-Taiyiba and adds to the other findings that certify the activities of Christians in the area,” said Dr. Walid Atrash of the Antiquities Authority of Israel.

The team is sure that the inscription comes from a church and not from a monastery.

According to the researchers, artifacts from different periods were also found during the excavations. They shed new information on the long history of the settlements that existed in al-Tayyiba, as well as on their status.

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Why does Satan’s name mean “light-bearer”?

Why does Satan's name mean "light-bearer"? 101

In modern languages, Lucifer is one of the names of Satan. However, from Latin the word lucifer literally translates as “luminiferous” and comes from the words lux (“light”) and phero (“carry”). What kind of light is this that the infernal ruler carries?

Franz von Stuck.  Lucifer
Franz von Stuck. Lucifer

The ancient Romans called the planet Venus by the word Lucifer, that is, the “morning star”, which is better than all other celestial bodies visible in the morning (as well as evening) firmament. By the way, this name is “tracing paper” from ancient Greek: the ancient Greeks called this celestial entity Phosphorus (from Φωσφόρος – “carrying light”).

Lucifer means ‘that which brings light’. From φῶς (phôs, “light”) +‎ -φόρος (-phóros, “bearing”), from φέρω (phérō, “I carry”).

Venus in the morning sky in January
Venus in the morning sky in January

Why did the name of the star become the name of Satan? This happened as a result of “translation difficulties”. The Bible, in the Book of Isaiah, contains a prophecy about the death of the Babylonian king – a terrible enemy of the ancient Jews. It looks like this:

“… You fell from the sky, morning star, son of the dawn! He crashed to the ground, trampling on the peoples. “

“Morning star” and “son of the dawn” here are nothing more than magnificent oriental titles of the ruler. When Jerome of Stridonsky, the first translator of the Bible into Latin, translated this passage, he translated the Hebrew word הֵילֵל (“heylel”, “morning star”) as lucifer, because that is how the morning star was called in Latin.

Caravaggio.  Saint Jerome
Caravaggio. Saint Jerome

However, Christians, contemporaries of Jerome, associated this passage not with the king of Babylon – the embodiment of evil for the ancient Israelites, but with their enemy – Satan. And the word “lucifer”, which was just the title of the Babylonian king, began to write with a capital letter. So the innocuous name of the star became a terrible hellish name.

Jerome’s other translation error led to an amusing misunderstanding. In the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, European artists and sculptors depicted Moses – the main biblical prophet … with horns on his head! Why?

Why does Satan's name mean "light-bearer"? 102
Why does Satan's name mean "light-bearer"? 103
Why does Satan's name mean "light-bearer"? 104

The Bible says that when Moses came down from Mount Sinai, his face was radiant. In Hebrew, the words “ray” and “horn” are similar. So Jerome got it: “His face became horny because God spoke to him.”

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