Letters from the Office of the Dalai Lama

Editor’s note, 6/2012: One letter was written by Tenzin Geyche Tethong, the Private Secretary to the Dalai Lama of over 40 years.
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PDF file

May 24, 2006
To: Rev. Michael Roach <alwaysstay@aol.com>
Subject: Teachings in June
Dear Rev. Michael Roach,

We have recently learnt that you are planning to come to Dharmsala during the June teachings of His Holiness the Dalai Lama with a large group of Western Buddhists. We also understand that you plan to give separate teachings on the “Essence of Eloquence” to this group in the evenings following His Holiness’s teachings in the afternoons.

On your Diamond Mountain website it is stated “that Geshe Thupten Rinchen is ill. As you may already know, he has tuberculosis in the past, and now he is having a recurrence, which is likely to require surgery. Geshe Thupten Rinchen has strongly encouraged Geshe Michael to conduct these teachings himself. Geshe Michael, knowing how many of you had already made their travel plans, has graciously agreed to do so.”

We have made inquiries about what you have said and find that it is not strictly true, because Geshe Thupten Rinchen did not ask you to give the teachings on his behalf. Moreover, we have become aware that there is an unresolved controversy over your current observation of the Vinaya vows and your keeping company with women. We have received inquiries and letters of concern about your status and conduct from many people.

We have seen a photograph of you wearing long hair, with a female companion at your side, apparently giving ordination. This would seem to conflict with the rules of Vinaya, and as you know, the Gelug tradition makes a point of upholding these very strictly.

This unconventional behavior does not accord with His Holiness’s teachings and practice.

Under the circumstances, keeping the greater interest of the purity of Buddhist tradition in mind, we advise you not to come to Dharamsala on this occasion.

Chhime R. Chhoekyapa
Joint Secretary

Cc: Department of Religion and Culture, Dharamsala
Cc: Office of Tibet, New York
Cc: Geshe Thupten Rinchen

Office of H.H. the Dalai Lama
Thekchen Choeling
McLeod Ganj – 176 219
Dharamsala, (H.P.)
INDIA

Ph.: +91 (1892) 221343, 221879, 221210
Fax: +91 (1892) 221813
Email: ohhdl@dalailama.com

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June 5, 2006
To: Rev. Michael Roach <alwaysstay@aol.com>
Subject: Dharmsala visit

Dear Rev. Michael Roach,

This is to thank you for your letter of May 30, addressed to Chhime Rigzin-la both in English as well as Tibetan. Chhime-la is presently away with His Holiness and I am responding to your letter on behalf of our Office here.

We have gone through your long explanation but still do not support your coming to Dharmsala. If you have reached the path of seeing, as you claim in your letter, you should then be able show extraordinary powers and perform miracles like the Siddhas of the past. Only then will the followers of Tibetan Buddhists be able to believe and accept your claims.

Otherwise, as His Holiness the Dalai Lama is the Spiritual and Temporal leader of Tibet having responsibility over the welfare of Tibetan Buddhism many have often complained to Him that He should be strict with those who are not adhering to the general norms of discipline according to our tradition. And your coming to Dharmsala will be seen by many as His Holiness condoning your behavior and practice.

In view of all these we advise you not to visit Dharmsala in the greater interest of the purity of the Tibetan Buddhist tradition as clearly indicated in the letter of Chhime Rigzin-la dated May 24, 2006. However, as for the other members of your group those who are interested are welcome to attend the teachings of His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

Tenzin Geyche Tethong
Secretary to H.H. the Dalai Lama

Office of H.H. the Dalai Lama
Thekchen Choeling
McLeod Ganj – 176 219
Dharamsala, (H.P.)
INDIA

Ph.: +91 (1892) 221343, 221879, 221210
Fax: +91 (1892) 221813
Email: ohhdl@dalailama.com

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