Understanding the Case Against Shukden

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The History of a Contested Tibetan Practice

Gavin Kilty

Before the twentieth century, the figure of Shukden, or Dölgyal, was an obscure one in the pantheon of Tibetan Buddhism’s many oracles and protectors. But after individuals within the Geluk tradition began to promote and disseminate the practice, division arose among Buddhists of different sects. Later, incidents within the exile community, as recounted in this book, prompted the Dalai Lama to investigate the practice more deeply. The fruits of this research are presented here, as are the statements made by His Holiness about it over the past forty years. Understanding the Case against Shukden uncovers the historical context behind this contentious practice, which dates back to the time of the Fifth Dalai Lama in the seventeenth century, and clarifies why the present Dalai Lama has been so vocal in countering it.

Understanding the Case against Shukden is a clarion call for unity among the Tibetan people and a vision for a more harmonious Tibetan Buddhist community.

book information
  • Paperback
  • 360 pages, 6 x 9 inches
  • $29.95
  • ISBN 9781614295358
  • ebook
  • 360 pages
  • $17.99
  • ISBN 9781614295549
about the author
Understanding the Case Against Shukden

Gavin Kilty has been a full-time translator for the Institute of Tibetan Classics since 2001. Before that he lived in Dharamsala, India, for fourteen years, where he spent eight years training in the traditional Geluk monastic curriculum through the medium of class and debate at the Institute of Buddhist Dialectics. He also teaches Tibetan language courses in India, Nepal, and elsewhere, and is a translation reviewer for the organization 84000, Translating the Words of the Buddha.

Other books by Gavin Kilty:
Light of Samantabhadra
The Fourteenth Dalai Lama’s Stages of the Path, Volume 1
Tales from the Tibetan Operas
Mirror of Beryl
The Splendor of an Autumn Moon
A Lamp to Illuminate the Five Stages
Ornament of Stainless Light

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