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An essay presented here several months ago caused a stir with Shugden worshippers, most notably followers of Kelsang Gyatso, founder of NKT, the foremost if not only western Shugden cult.

They wondered, if Kelsang Gyatso does not accept the idea that Trijang was reincarnated, why did Kelsang Gyatso write in one of his books his wish for a speedy reincarnation for Trijang. Or, if Trijang was indeed reincarnated, why does Kelsang Gyatso have no contact with him? After all, Trijang was Kelsang Gyatso's closest guru and NKT's object of great praise.

Likewise, why do NKTites have no contact with Trijang's reincarnation but instead treat him as too immature to know better? Could it be his love of and connection with the Dalai Lama or NKT's delusion that Kelsang Gyatso is the highest leader of Je Tsongkhapa's Tibetan tradition? (NKT believes that Tibetan Buddhism is degenerate and corrupt and that only NKT can save it, even while boasting that NKT is not a form of Tibetan Buddhism)

According to the reincarnate's institute,

"Without him, the situation of Tibetan Buddhism and in particular the tradition of Je Tsongkhapa would be very different. His Eminence Kyabje Trijang Chocktrul Rinpoche is the eighteenth in a lineage of eminent Indian and Tibetan pandits and masters. His supreme reincarnation was discovered in a Tibetan family in Northern India and was officially recognized by His Holiness the Dalai Lama on April 23, 1985."

One of the problems claimed by NKT with Tibetan Buddhism is the respect that Tibetan Buddhists have for the Dalai Lama. Poignantly, the Ganden Tripa (head of the Gelug School), Trijang Chocktrul Rinpoche and membes of the Trijang Buddhist Institute respect the Dalai Lama as well.

Followers of Kelsang Gyatso observed,

"He doesn't go in for people being regarded as high beings because of a title or being regarded as a tulku."

"As far as I understand there has been many problems with the enthroning Tulkus culture within Tibetan Buddhism."

"My thoughts on it are the Karma of beings changes, someone who is a teacher in one life may not necessarily be in their next life."

"In his last speech at the summer festival last year he said when talking about maintaining the NKT that in his future lives he would never forget this tradition, which I took to mean he will take rebirth and when he could, do his best to help sentient beings through the NKT."

"if Geshe-la means for his deciples not to rely upon the lineage of previous incarnations of someone, then this would invalidate the reasons used for aserting that Dorje Shugden is Manjusri"

"I don't know if he has any contact with Trijang"

"It sounds like some thriller drama from a movie. It saddens me to read all this in the name of religion - assassination plots, threats, false proclamations, abdication, etc." (regarding the radio interview of Trijang's reincarnation within the previous essay linked in my first sentence)

"As for the actions of NKT, which may be too harsh, I do see that their intention is about making a passionate and committed stand for their belief in Dorje Shugden. I just think that when peaceful religious practices is mixed with political or not-so-peaceful actions/intent the result will always bear pain and tremendous suffering. Then again, if no one makes such a "drastic" stand for this practice of Dorje Shugden, it may with time and strong endorsements become extinct."

"I believe as he grows older and more mature, he will slowly take on more responsibilities of his previous life although he said he doesn't want to."

"I don't believe that any of Geshe Kelsang's statements concerning Trijang Choktrul Rinpoche should be seen as definitive with respect to his opinion of whether or not he is Trijang Rinpoche's Tulku."

"in the 90's I heard that Geshe-la had said with respect to the young Trijang Rinpoche that rather than say he is or isn't the Tulku of Trijang Rinpoche the best thing is to wait and see his qualities"

"In early 2000 I heard that Geshe-la had said in a meeting that when he met Trijang Rinpoche shortly before he died, that Trijang Rinpoche had said to him that he was going to Tushita. Geshe-la said that he understood that this meant that he would not take rebirth, in support of this Geshe-la pointed out that by taking rebirth in such a form he would have to take ordination from the Dalai Lama, which in turn creates many problems for him in continuing his lineage. So he asked, why would he take such an obstacle ridden rebirth?"

"In the early 80's Geshe Kelsang was still working within the context of the established Tibetan Gelugpa hierarchy. Of course, in that context whatever mis-givings he may have had regarding Trijang Rinpoche saying that he would go to Tushita, he would have wished for him to return as he would have believed that it would be possible for him to continue teaching within the existing Gelugpa infrastructure."

"By the 1990's Geshe-la already had strong concerns about the health of Gelugpa institution, after a 3 year retreat he came to the conclusion that he needed to establish the NKT and train teachers within that organisation so that he could be confident that they would be able to continue an authentic transmission of his Guru's lineage. to this end Geshe-la's teaching emphasised the development of inner qualities as the basis for correct reliance not high positions or reputation. I think that by this time his confidence in the ability of the old Gelugpa institution to preserve our lineage and the reliability of the old systems which it relied on, such as Tulku recognition was decreasing – in other words I don't think he thought it still worked!"

"In the last decade, to protect the lineage (which Geshe Kelsang passed in to the NKT from Trijang Rinpoche), Geshe-la created a constitution for the organization, one point is that Tulkus are not recognized as a basis for assuming any authority in NKT."

"The Tulku system existed in the past to support this same motivation (Bodhichitta) but its clear, at least for those with karma to meet the lineage via NKT, that Geshe-la believes this old system will be un-reliable in the future. All of his actions and statements support and teach that view to his students. The recognition or otherwise of Trijang Rinpoche's Tulku on the other hand is more or less irrelevant therefore to this objective."

"one should remember, that a Tulku is not by virtue of being a Tulku either attained or capable of making wise decisions."

"Trijang Choktrul Rinpoche is a rather young man, and therefore is probably not attained, nor capable of making any more wise decisions that any of us here."

"It is not correct to say that Geshe Kelsang does not recognise Tulkus. In fact in his writings you can see he writes about many different re-incarnation lineages - for example that Geshe Langri Tangpa was a previous incarnation of Trijang Rinpoche, or Dorje Shugden was Duldzin Dragpa Gyaltsen or as TK wrote, in the recognition of his own mothers re-incarnation etc. However, the important point is that with respect to the NKT, the fact of being a Tulku is irrelevant to the process by which teachers and directors are appointed."

"Trijang Rinpoche is not sufficiently established yet that's why he does not go openly rebel against Dalai Lama unlike Geshe Kelsang Gyatso. But his words don't ring false, he sounds like he sincerely doesnt want to disgrace His Holiness."

"He disrobed! How much more distance could he hope to put between himself and DL?"

"He (the reincarnated Trijang) is an extremely warm and loving young man, of course he would not publically berate the Dalia more than he has done by shunning his former student, the Dalia Lama and sending his attendant to the Protests."

"I do find this interesting that in the light of all the controversy and difficult and probably being harangued for upholding the DS practice, Trijang Rinpoche maintains a very respectful stance towards the Dalai Lama. He is after all, based in America quite comfortably - his family included - and has his own students, centres etc so would not need to be dependent on the TGIE. But there is still mutual respect."

Why not simply accept the statements of Trijang's reincarnation, Trijang Chocktrul Rinpoche, who wants no contact with Shugdenites/NKTites and moved to the United States to gain distance from them?

Nowhere on his web site does Trijang Chocktrul Rinpoche mention Shugden.