For over 10 years Kadampa Buddhism in the West in the form of the New Kadampa Tradition ~ International Kadampa Buddhist Union (NKT-IKBU) has been subject to a great number of false allegations. The purpose of this website is to try and respond to these with facts and the truth.
We are trying here to redress the balance. Previously, due to Kadampa students staying passive and not answering these smears, they built up without opposition. Our aim with this site is to restore some neutrality.
What is the New Kadampa Tradition?
Kadampa Buddhism is a Mahayana Buddhist school founded by the great Indian Buddhist Master Atisha (AD 982-1054). "Ka" refers to Buddha Shakyamuni's teachings, and "dam" to Atisha's special Lamrim instructions known as "the stages of the path to enlightenment". By integrating their knowledge of all Buddha's teachings into their practice of Lamrim, and by integrating this into their everyday lives, Kadampa Buddhists are encouraged to use Buddha's teachings as practical methods for transforming their daily activities into the path to enlightenment, improving their love, compassion and wisdom.
The Kadampa tradition was later promoted widely in Tibet by Je Tsongkhapa and his followers, who were known as the "New Kadampas". The New Kadampa Tradition ~ International Kadampa Buddhist Union (NKT-IKBU) is an association of over 1100 Buddhist Centers and groups that derive their inspiration and guidance from the example of the ancient Kadampa Buddhist Masters and their teachings, as presented to the modern world by Ven Geshe Kelsang Gyatso. For more information, see www.kadampa.org.
The aim of the NKT-IKBU is to introduce practical tools that can help people of all backgrounds solve problems and find happiness. As Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, the General Spiritual Director, says:
"Our intention in teaching Dharma is not just to spread Buddhism. We are trying to help the people of this world by giving them special methods to solve their daily problems and to achieve the permanent happiness of liberation. In itself, the flourishing of Buddhadharma is not important unless it benefits others. This is the main purpose of Buddhism."
Why does a reputable Buddhist tradition need to defend itself?
The NKT-IKBU has been successful at bringing Buddha's teachings to the West and these teachings have positively affected the lives of hundreds of thousands of people. As a new development in the West it has had teething problems -- some expected, some not. The NKT-IKBU is trying to learn from its mistakes and is not unwilling to have them pointed out. Our challenges have not been dissimilar to those of other Western Buddhist organizations.
Yet when one of the top five anti-defamation law firms in the world recently investigated both the NKT-IKBU and all the libel on the Internet against it, it came to the conclusion: "The New Kadampa Tradition is a respectable international organization whose reputation has been severely defamed."
This website is needed because, unbelievably, New Kadampa Tradition students and teachers have been accused of being spirit worshippers and cultists, even murderers. They have been accused of destroying the health and lives of others, even of causing the outbreak of foot and mouth disease in Britain. They have been heckled and shouted at, barred from other Tibetan Buddhist organizations and online Buddhist forums, spat at, and threatened.