Enjoy a large variety of incisive and original opinions and analysis on Tibet’s political affairs, society, culture and arts.

book & film reviews

Original reviews of books, magazines, films and music relevant to Tibet’s struggle for independence.

cinema ’59

Discuss and organize screenings of films of freedom struggle and national liberation, and propose specific titles that inspire you.

news & events

Find out about past and forthcoming events, demonstrations, actions and conferences around the world.

videos & photos

Check the latest videos from a number of sharing websites and photos collections on Tibet’s struggle for independence.

To think independently is more important than dogma

Saturday, Apr 27, 2013

Painting of Milarepa by Nicholas Roerich, 1935

In his biography of Mila Repa, Tsangnyon Heruka (1452-1507) wrote:

When one of his disciples asked Mila Repa whose reincarnation you are, the great yogi said, “I don’t even know myself whose reincarnation I am. That you believe in me as a reincarnation of a Boddhisatva is your superstition. In fact believing in reincarnation is the worst form of heresy.”

Mila Repa’s above comment is enlightening. It testifies the corruption of the Tulku system and the dangers of theocracy to human liberation. And Mila Repa is absolutely right.

As we all know, foreign powers fully exploited Tibet’s Tulku system. The Chinese continue to exploit it, as we saw in the case of the selection of Panchen Lama and the Karmapa. Today, we have two Panchen Lamas, two Karmapas, and if we do not move to real democracy and abolish the whole Tulku system, we will have multiple Dalai Lamas.

If such a scenario occurs, it will be a serious setback for our struggle and will cause serious confusion and split within our society.

It is high time Tibetans realize that democracy is necessary for our survival. Democracy is not just participating in elections and voting for the favorite candidates, although these rituals are important. True democracy is possible only when there is freedom to think and speak without fear or embarrassment, to question everything – especially the most sacred and divine things.

Such freedom to think, scrutinize and speak freely comes only in an open society. And an open society is possible only when we learn to speak truth to the powers that be – whether they are the lamas, government leaders, parents and elders, school authorities, activists or intellectuals. So we must question the powers that be, especially our government rather than follow them blindly in the name of ‘patriotism’ and thus letting them steal our independent spirit and thoughts.

Today, our government is attempting to seal our fate by negotiating Tibet’s right to exist – not as a sovereign nation but as an autonomous part of China. Negotiating for autonomy is no problem, but the danger is that our government believes it is the only way forward. In other words it has some acute problems when it comes to tolerating other views. However, if we are to learn anything from Mila Repa it is that thinking independently is more important than dogma.

Bookmark and Share


  • avatar Jigsaw says:

    An extremely unorthodox but novel idea Mr. Nyinjey. A Herculean task or maybe not
    As I recall the last time we beat the Chinese to this ‘game’ & tricked them into endorsing the selection of the 17th Karmapa after the initial leg work was carried out by the Tibetan side. And then years later Karmapa’s fateful escape to exile.
    I am beginning to get the drift – So forget a next Dalai Lama etc – Our supreme leader Sikyong can be be crowned the incarnation of all incarnations – the topic of professor J.Norbu’s latest blog item. I am beginning to connect the dots…..

  • avatar khamba2013 says:

    Right On! Yo, I love this article, very concise & short to the point. Actually, there already is a division among Tibetans in exiles. Most follow the ‘middle-way’ policy which to me is another name or terminology for “the peaceful 17 point agreements”, that already exists & is current but in actuality, in real life, is completely the opposite of everything it claims to be, a big hoax! Such is the game communist Chinese play on the unsuspecting or unthinking Tibetan people. We all are indoctrinated to follow always & never to question everything, be it religion or politics. Completely the opposite of what Buddha has said, “you are your own savior”. Unfortunately, most Tibetans are not democratic minded & evolving, psychological ‘stuck’ in tradition way of thinking & never dare to question anything. Of course many maybe proficient in some form of trade & skills (education) but nevertheless, psychology bound due to fear & backlash from whoever or whatever. This is the way religion & politics have a major impact & control of the people via manipulation of our consciousness.

  • avatar ajo Che says:

    In the free world everyone is entitled to his/her opinion. Yes, we’re under foreign subjugation and we in the free world are just floating with the flow of life. Personally, I truly feel Rangzen etc. is not that important to me cause as long as we have rangwang. The only time I feel a fleeting tinge of hopelessness is when I see our Bhutanese friends in traditional garbs marching with their flags at the Olympics opening ceremony. This fleeting feeling is nothing more than one of the components of human frailties. There’s a saying in Tibetan Rangzen yodho rangwang me, rangzen medho rangwang yod. So, everything in life is relative. Living in the US I honestly feel luckier than most Americans; young and old. Over here I can appreciate life cause we Tibs all started from ground zero. At times I feel so sorry to see American families who lost their sons fighting wars in foreign countries, families devastated when many return after fighting battles severely handicapped mentally, psychologically,and physically which is a tremendous ongoing source of misery that many turn to alcohol, drugs and ultimately suicide. That’s what I see a lot in the land of the free and the home of the brave.

    Whereas, we immigrants come here and work hard and make life very comfortable, meaningful and entertaining. Often I brag I have more fun in life here than Bill Gates, Warren Buffet or Donald Trump. What I have they don’t. The freedom to galavant the beaches in solo, frequent the sports bars and nightclubs and mingle with all sorts of peoples of all nationalities and walks of live. So, life is what you make of it. That’s the bottom line.

  • avatar gyalmo2007 says:

    @ Ajo che,
    You wrote: “The freedom to galavant the beaches in solo, frequent the sports bars and nightclubs and mingle with all sorts of peoples of all nationalities and walks of live. So, life is what you make of it. That’s the bottom line.”

    WOW! you should tell that to the families of the self-immolators and those who are languishing in Chinese prisons.

  • avatar gyalmo2007 says:

    Ajo che, you sicken me with your sadomasochism and relativistic BS.

Leave a comment!

You must be logged in to post a comment.