Recently, students of Sogyal Rinpoche have writen a letter that details abuse of their teacher student relationship. Matthieu Riccard gives an interesting viewpoint on this issue, as well addressing some criticism that some have launched as to why the Dalai Lama has not publicly taken a stance on the issue.

Riccard mentions:

If, up to the present time, the Dalai Lama has not reacted publically to the testimonies concerning Sogyal Rinpoche, this is not, as has been sometimes suggested, for financial reasons or out of a misguided attempt to protect Buddhism. Those who make such assertions have failed to research the matter adequately and are guilty of misrepresentation. Otherwise, they would have discovered that the Dalai Lama has never accepted the slightest financial recompense for any instruction or talk that he has given. At the end of every teaching, the accounts are read out in public by the organizers of the event, and if any financial profit has been made, it is invariably offered to humanitarian organizations chosen in consultation with the Dalai Lama and his entourage.

Again the Dalai Lama has no personal agenda in the interests of protecting the image of Buddhism. He often declares that he has nothing to hide and that he is open—without the slightest restriction—to any kind of formal enquiry concerning his own life and actions.

He frequently says that any person of integrity should behave in an irreproachable manner both publically and in private. As a human being, in the first place, and then as a Buddhist monk he values above all the keeping of his vows and a way of life that is frank and open. Having served him for the last twenty-five years, I can testify that he is strongly allergic to any kind of duplicity and pretense. On the other hand—and once again—it is not his role to act as an international Buddhist policeman. He can only remain as a teacher and as a point of reference, demonstrating by his own example the qualities of any Buddhist practitioner worthy of the name.

Click here to read more from Riccard’s article.

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