During the June 27 to July 6 2006 teachings in Palampur, Geshe Michael Roach urged his audience to take part in a collection for a birthday offering to His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s Office refused to accept the US $2000 which had been collected, when it was offered by a representative of the Geshe Michael Roach group. Geshe Michael Roach then went into damage control mode, with a barely coherent explanation of the refusal.
Requesting offerings for His Holiness the Dalai Lama from the group
On 29th June 2006, during his teachings in Palampur, India, Geshe Michael Roach encouraged those present to contribute to a Birthday offering to His Holiness the Dalai Lama – “Just get the karma, Do something; okay. And it doesn’t matter really how much. Okay.“
Inspired by memories of his root lama, Khen Rinpoche Geshe Lobsang Tarchin’s annual practice in New Jersey of sending an offering with Birthday greetings each year to His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s ‘ Office, Geshe Michael Roach recounted to his audience:
“We used to get these beautiful letters back. And I think it means a lot to His Holiness that just individual, small congregations, quote, of His followers want Him to have a happy birthday.”
Further misrepresentation after offerings were collected
On 4th July, Geshe Michael Roach reminded the group that they would celebrate His Holiness Birthday and tsog after the last class on 6th July. He announced that they had raised over US $2,000 to offer to His Holiness the Dalai Lama. At this time, he again misrepresented Ven. Thubten Chuyang as attending Geshe Michael Roach’s teachings “from His Holiness’ Office.
Dalai Lama’s Office refuses the offering
On July 5, when Geshe Michael Roach’s representatives attempted to personally deliver the offering to His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s Office, they did not receive a ‘beautiful’ reply – because as His Office’s letters of May 24 and June 5 make plain, Geshe Michael Roach does not have the favor or support of the Office of His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s Office refused to accept the birthday offering of over US $2,000 from Geshe Michael Roach, Christie McNally and the students at the ‘Palampur teaching’.
Geshe Michael Roach puts spin on the rejection
After two hours of class and a break, on 5th July, Geshe Michael Roach used “skillful means” to break the news of the rejected offering to his audience.
Geshe Michael Roach seemed unable to express the rejection in a clear, coherent manner. He tried to soothe the qualms of his audience by stating that “It just wasn’t comfortable… Frankly, half the people think we’re crazy, and half the people think we’re angels… They can’t quite figure out if we’re crazy or if we’re enlightened.” and characterized the humiliating rejection by His Holiness as “fun”
Transcripts and Audios from the Palampur Teachings
“Where I grew up, you know, the Kalmak temple, the Mongolian temple, every, every July we took up a collection from all the congregation. And then Rinpoche would write this really beautiful, long poetic letter to His Holiness, like: ‘Please stay in the world. And please have a Happy Birthday.’ And then we, we offered the money to His Office. So we’d like to do the same thing. And we’ll have a small puja also on the 6th which is our last day of teaching here I think.
“So, I think is it, is it Venerable Ellie, Will and Chapman will be, what do you call it, strong-arming — I mean asking you for a donation.
“And, it’s really nice. It’s really — We used to get these beautiful letters back. And I think it means a lot to His Holiness that just individual, small congregations, quote, of His followers want Him to have a happy birthday.
“So throw something in. Even if you don’t have any money, throw in, throw in 10 rupees or 100 rupees or something like that. Just get the karma, Do something; okay. And it doesn’t matter really how much. Okay. (Audience question). Yeah. We’ll write, we’ll write some letter in Tibetan.”
Listen to the MP3 Audio (1min 38sec, 674kb)
“Thursday night happens to be the last night. It happens to be His Holiness’s birthday and it happens to be Vajrayogini Day, Vajrayogini tsog. So, we thought we would have a blowout, you know. And after the class we’ll do the not so secret part of the Vajrayogini ceremony for offering. The monk who came last night from His Holiness’ Office asked if he could come and help do it.
“And bring some kind of offering, okay. Some kind of offering, food offering… (he warns them of food safety issues in India). Okay. And then we’ll have a nice tsog and a birthday party for His Holiness, ok.
“And a letter has been prepared to offer to His Holiness. and the monk has offered to go down there. And I believe we have over two thousand dollars ($2,000) already, which is really cool, really good, a good job.”
Listen to the MP3 Audio (1min 37sec, 668kb)
“Tomorrow night is a special angel, Diamond Angel, Vajrayogini celebration. It just so happens to be our last day.
“It also happens to be His Holiness’s birthday. So everyone is welcome to come. We’ll just do a short thing ‘cause you’ll, you’ll be tired by then hee. But bring some offering [laughs] that’s not going to give people – the three people who don’t have diarrhea [laughter] don’t want to get it. So, okay.
“Some people went to His Holiness’ Office today with our offering. They said — it’s all a big — I don’t know. We’ve been disrupted, so — [laughter] — it’s what people tell us.
“But anyway, what we’ve decided, if it’s good with you guys, we’ll donate it to one of His Holiness’s projects around the world. Many of our people are working in those projects. So if it’s cool for you.
“It just wasn’t comfortable. It was a little bit — Frankly, half the people think we’re crazy, and half the people think we’re angels. And it’s creating a little — so we’re just gonna go — it’s like a big uh, it’s fun. [laughter] No, it’s like.
“They can’t quite figure out if we’re crazy or if we’re enlightened. [laughter].
“And so, I think we’ll just calm down and offer it to one of His projects. If that’s all right with you; okay. It’ll definitely go 100% to one of His Holiness’s projects. Something where they need it; all right. And Ellie will decide. She worked in His Holiness’ office for some time in New York. So she’s aware of all the cool places to drop anonymous donations.”
Listen to the MP3 Audio (2min 09sec, 882kb)