Hearing the Voice of Internal Reform in Tibetan Buddhism Through Kalu Rinpoche II's "Broken Hearted in France"
(By the True Heart News interviewing team in Taipei)In his video “Confessions of Kalu Rinpoche,” the Second Kalu Rinpoche spoke from his personal experience and exposed the inside stories of how lamas sexually abuse young boys and engage in fierce power struggle among themselves. He even wrote an article in his blog entitled “Broken hearted in France.” On 19 April, 2011, he succeeded to the title and wealth of the first Kalu Rinpoche. The Second Kalu Rinpoche voiced his thoughts, “I am tired of Dharma politics. I am tired of Dharma business.” He told his readers that he needed support to change “the system for a system that doesn’t involve abuse of power or abuse of money” to one that “is respectful of people and students.” His sincere confessions are written as follows:
As a matter of fact, many people have come to me and informed me about the misbehavior of some of the lamas over many years; moreover there is a deep unhappiness and disharmony among the residents. In the interest of protecting the center and the Dharma I requested the lamas there to step down. Shamelessly, in response, those lamas have decided with a lawyer to deny my authority as spiritual head of the lineage and this center.
Many times lamas talk about devotion. Devotion, devotion, devotion, but when I need to make a change that counters their plans, there is no agreement, no devotion. I am tired of Dharma politics. I am tired of Dharma business.
Since all those years, sincere practitioners have come, many have left, many have been disillusioned, many are sad, it is time to reconnect and put things back on track.
I want to change the system for a system that doesn’t involve abuse of power or abuse of money and is respectful of people and students. I want to keep Dharma safe. I want to keep Dharma pure. I want to keep Kagyu Ling safe.
I need prayers and support from all of you to put it right. Please join us in prayer and action during this difficult time. Sorry to bother you with bad news. I know that you have professional and family obligations, but at this time I really need you. (http://www.paldenshangpa.net/2011/04/broken-hearted-in-france/)
Chairman Zhang of the True Enlightenment Education Foundation remarks that this is indeed the Second Kalu Rinpoche’s sincere voice of confession. He has had firsthand experience since his childhood that lamas “appeared to be Buddhists” but acted ruthlessly rather than with compassion and modesty. He was sexually abused by his fellow lamas who studied in the same monastery; his teacher tried to kill him with a knife; a senior lama tried to control him to gain power over his authority and money.
After 3 years retreat, all the people are interested because you know they kind of think that I have this great qualification and something which I can remember about my past life and it's nothing like that. (http://youtu.be/z5Ka3bEN1rs)
I was recognized as the reincarnated late Kalu Rinpoche, for this title I have gained full respect from all dharma Buddhists. To be honest, I don’t believe the whole issue, why I say so?.... If I were his incarnation, I should naturally have known all the dharma at birth. In fact, I had to put much effort and study very hard by myself. (http://www.towisdom.org.tw/03-mag/557/tow557-05.pdf)
Chairman Zhang says that if we pay closer attention, it is not difficult to understand why Kalu Yangsi would make the following remark: “I see all these Buddhist people who are not Buddhist. They look like a Buddhist and they sound like a Buddhist and they act like a Buddhist and I am so confused.” (http://youtu.be/z5Ka3bEN1rs)
In reality, the inner circle of upper-level lamas is full of power-craving criminals. Their so-called cultivation is all for the purpose of acquiring control of worldly power. This is the underlying motivation that dictates all their actions. Chairman Zhang states that in the Second Kalu’s confessional video “Confessions of Kalu Rinpoche,” he directly exposed the shocking criminal acts within the system of Tibetan Lamaism. Lamas appear to be compassionate, philanthropic, and protective of the Buddha-dharma in front of the public. Yet, behind the facade, they were ruthless toward the young tulku. They had only one purpose: control the so-called reincarnation of the First Kalu Rinpoche and thereby gain control over the politics and resources of the sect, in particular money and power.
What the Second Kalu Rinpoche has gone through is not an isolated incident. Similar incidents are abundant in the recorded and verified historical accounts of Lamaism by historians: ruthless power struggles and clashes between different sects of Tibetan “Buddhism,” bloodstained violence, murders, and assassinations. Nevertheless, we should applaud the Second Kalu for his courageous exposure of his own horrible past within the tulku system and unveiling the dark and ugly truth of Tibetan “Buddhism” to the world. He intends to benefit others and he has a feeling of responsibility and determination to reform Tibetan Buddhism into “a system that doesn’t involve abuse of power or abuse of money.”
Regarding this issue, Chairman Zhang remarks that the Second Kalu is not submitting to the lamas’ criminal behavior. Rather, based on his personal experience within Tibetan “Buddhism,” he is pointing the finger directly at the corruption of the system and is taking it upon himself to implement changes. Chairman Zhang sincerely hopes to see more people take the initiative that the Second Kalu has, and step forward to expose the heinous power abuse and manipulation within Tibetan “Buddhism.”
After the Dalai Lama fled Tibet with the Rinpoches and the living Buddhas and Tibetan “Buddhism” has actively promoted itself in the democratic Western countries, it is noteworthy to observe how it transforms as the new generations of lamas have acquired the Western ideas of democracy and human rights.
Chairman Zhang assures that the Second Kalu will certainly not be the only lama to speak out against the system of Lamaism; the fact that Shamarpa Rinpoche publicly exposed the Danish Lama Ole Nydhl's sexual practice is a clear indication of this trend.
In his YouTube video clip “Confessions of Kalu Rinpoche,” in his blog message “Broken Hearted in France,” and in his other speeches, the Second Kalu clearly shows that he does not possess the mentality of typical lamas, who tend to resort to sophistries or shameless fact distorting to defend themselves.
On the contrary, he publicly exposed the fierce power struggles among lamas, and told how his fellow lamas even went all the way to hiring lawyers to bring him down from his throne of leadership.
All this suggests that the Second Kalu does not think like a traditional lama. His actions indicate that the Western ideas of respect for individuals, democracy, freedom, and human rights have taken roots in him.
Chairman Zhang further remarks that while Tibetan lamas brought their evil teachings to Europe and North America, polluting the lands and the people, Western countries have returned the evil with good by seeding powerful ideas of democracy and human rights in the minds of the new generation of lamas. Those lamas who actively practice in Europe and the United States know very well that, to establish themselves in a strange land, they must adhere to the adage, “while in Rome, do as the Romans.”
Originally, Tibetan lamas adjusted and adapted in order to facilitate dharma propagation in the West. Yet, in the end, it is possible that the influence of the Western culture could bring them to realize the faults of their own system and beliefs as well, forcing them to see what needs to be reformed and righted.
Chairman Zhang believes that what the Second Kalu has done confirms such impact from the Western culture. Although the Second Kalu is not aware that the Buddhist education he has been receiving since childhood is entirely wrong, and that it is a fake Buddha dharma, mere sexual practice, a system tainted with power struggle, and a primitive shamanistic religion, he is, nonetheless, wholeheartedly trying to reform the lama system and his intention deserves our praise.
At the same time, Chairman Zhang hopes that an opportune moment has presented itself to Lamaism to rectify itself. Chairman Zhang says, “We hope to see that, through observing and realizing their own problems, they will face up to the dark things within their system, and will be brave enough to expose and challenge these. We hope they will eventually recognize that the nature of their religion is nothing but Hindu Tantric practice. From there, we hope they will leave behind the doctrine of sexual practice, return to orthodox Buddhism and bravely admit that Tibetan “Buddhism” has nothing to do with Buddhism, and call it by its real name--Lamaism.”
This is not a task that can be accomplished overnight. Still Chairman Zhang sincerely hopes that the Second Kalu can be the trigger of such development.
This article is an English version of the Chinese edition published on
May 12, 2012.