Monday, July 4, 2011

Confessions of Kalu Rinpoche

"When I was 9 my father passed away and I had a very difficult life you know. People thinks that Kalu Rinpoche always lived in a very comfortable life. That's what all people been thinking of because the previous Kalu Rinpoche was popular. For me, my father past away, I was transported to different Monastery and when I was like 12 and 13, I've been sexually abused by other monks. So for me I don't believe in monks so much you know, so you know and when I was 15 I did 3 years retreat from the guidance of my Root Guru you know and then like and I did 3 years retreat and no body cares about me so much you know. Nobody knows where I am, how I am you know and 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. And then some people just said I kick out from I, when I came out from my Monastery. no I mean when I came out from the 3 year retreat I mean. When I came out from 3 years retreat and many people were making roomer's and saying that I kicked out my mother, my family and you know, I kicked out my own teacher. Actually, it's nothing like that. My own Tutor, he tried to kill me, that's the truth. and I was at that time, I was really traditional. Very good traditional Buddhist practitioner.They tried to kill me because you know, I am not doing what they want me to do. You know it's that time I was really really good you know. A traditional person you know and then he tried to kill me with the knife and everything, and it was a shocking moment for me. And after that he left because when he realized about his own mistake how can he still live with me. So he left.

I never kicked out anybody. I had a family misunderstanding for 2 years and a half, and recently like 6 months ago, I had a family reconnection and everything is good and after that you know well when I was 18 I had all these big problems you know, then one manager tried to kill me and everything. It's all about money, power, controlling because if you can control the president, you can get what you want.That's the way it is and you know and then I became a drug addict because of all this misunderstanding and you know I went crazy. I became an alcoholic, I became a drug addict. I did lots of crazy things but not the bad things and then after that I asked my root Guru you know what is going on with my life I don't know because 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. He said, "Rinpoche you have the capacity to change the structure in your own lineage in your Buddhist organization. So that's why I'm trying to do, trying to build a school and to build my own structure for the poor people because for me the Buddhism and all this religious organization, spiritual organization it's all about how to protect the society, how to protect the environment, how to protect our self. How to be afar from the weakness, how to understand the true meaning of point. And so you know I will do whatever is best for society so that's why I plan to build a school and my life it's not easy.

There's lots of people who doesn't like me and there's lots of people who likes me. Whether you like it or not of who I am it doesn't change in the person who I am. So I will do everything I can I'm my responsibility's but the structure needs to be changed and the Buddhas teachings has to get involved in our personal life. It doesn't mean that you have to get away from your family. Stop thinking about sentient being if you can't help your own family. So first to be responsible is really important. You know I don't want Buddhism to get involved in business politics.No, I want Buddhism to bring a beautiful image to society and to understand society.That my point of view and wish me the best for my project, for my school which I can do the best for the society. And I'm just a normal human being even you live with me like 1,000 years I will still tell you, I'm just a human being. I always will be and no one is perfect, everyone is perfect. Anyways all of you people take care, and I'm happy with my life. I'm not going to change the way I am and I'm not going to change who I am. I'm happy I am and at the end I can be myself now. So I wish for all of you, don't fall into confusion, don't fall into confusion about this O.K. If you want to be a Buddhist all you need is the one person who has a spiritual understanding life experience as I've told you many times. I'm so sorry for the cars running here there because I'm outside. Take care. I love you very much and I'm happy don't worry.''

Broken hearted in France

I am at Kagyu Ling, my oldest center in France.
Kagyu Ling was home of the first Three-year retreat center in the west. This was my predecessor’s gift to the west in 1976. Where are all the trained and qualified lamas? Where are all the old students? On the other hand I see a lot of tourists. If you look at the retreat centers today, they are empty, abandoned and pitiful. This is shameful. This breaks my heart.
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.
I myself am not perfect, but nevertheless I profoundly respect the Dharma.
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.
We are all waiting for a change. The time is now, and I cannot do this without you. This is my responsibility, but nevertheless I would be very happy to have you close to me during this difficult time. If you are able, please join me at Kagyu Ling for the weekend of 23-25 April, 2011.
From my heart. My love to you all."


  1. Good for him for giving the world a reality check about what the monastic system is really like. Namkhai Norbu's son says in the film "My Reincarnation" that the reason his father refused to send him to a monastery was because of all the abuse his father suffered as a child. A Western tulku says in Gesar Mukpo's film, "Tulku" that the monasteries are "cesspools" of hate, jealousy, violence and child abuse. People need to wake up and smell the coffee. These are medieval institutions run by medieval minds. Reform is long overdue, and children have no business living in an institution full of celibate adults. This is a problem not only in the Tibetan monasteries, but in Sri Lanka and Taiwan as well. It's time authorities put compassion into action and perhaps convert the "kiddie program" in the monasteries as day schools rather than boarding schools.

  2. The lamas don't only talk of devotion, devotion, devotion. They also talk endlessly of compassion, compassion, compassion. But instead of compassion, they live by abuse. They preach "destruction" of the ego, but are concerned only with power, fame and fortune for themselves. Let's face it; the compassion is fake, loving-kindness virtually non-existent except in exceptional cases like Yangsi Kalu Rinpoche,(and look what sincerity, kindness and devotion to the Dharma got him--a lawsuit!), and the supposed celibacy is a bad joke.

    Hiring lawyers to deny the tulku's legitimacy? What?! They may as well deny the legitimacy of the entire tulku system, then. In the film, "Tulku", Dzongsar Khentse Rinpoche says the tulku system will be the downfall of Tibetan Buddhism, if Tibetans aren't careful. It looks like the lamas' own greed and lust for power are already doing a very good job of trashing Tibetan Buddhism.

    If Yangsi Kalu Rinpoche's tulku status isn't legitimate, what does that say about the entire system, and about the status of the lamas who are accusing him? Their own actions show that we were naive to believe any of them in the first place.

  3. An Important thing to realise that is THERE ARE MANY OTHER MONASTIC GROUPS IN THE WORLD! Please do not let these events stain and dirty the image of the sangha in people's minds!

    Have a look at all the nobel and ethical monks within the Chinese Mahayana and Therevada traditions! Do not let Tibetan schools dirty the image of all monks in the world!

  4. The monks in the Theravada tradition don't need any help dirtying the image of the monastic tradition, as news reports posted elsewhere on this site, and in newspapers in Thailand and Sri Lanka attest. Sri Lankan scholar Obeyesekere has published multiple pleas to ban the induction of children into the monastic system in his country. As for the Chinese Mahayana tradition, Buddhist practitioners in Taiwan report that clergy there are unconcerned about fathering children by their followers. We need only look to the quote from Master Sheng Yen at the right of this page to see how a lack of ethics gets justified.

    Monastic and clerical systems in Buddhism are long overdue for a complete overhaul with the goal of introducing complete transparency and accountability. Buddhism runs the risk of acquiring the stigma of a cult in the West if fundamental reforms aren't carried out. The writing is on the wall. Are Buddhist institutions reading it, or will they turn a blind eye?

  5. In a recent interview, Kalu Rinpoche clarified that the "sexual abuse" he suffered on a regular basis involved penetration, i.e. it was rape. He further clarified about the "family misunderstanding" mentioned above. He says his mother and sister didn't believe him about the murder attempt by his tutor. Without his family's support after his ordeals, he became more depressed and lost. It was a senior lama's suggestion, he said, that he give back his robes, and represent his lineage as a lay person. Due to the traumas he had suffered and their aftermath, this was probably the wisest course.

    It's important to note that Kalu Rinpoche's courage in making and posting his video "confession" has begun to inspire other tulkus to speak publicly about similar experiences they had in the monastery. We can only hope that over time, this will inspire a reform movement.