Over the years I've heard numerous warnings and dire threats from Theosophists about dugpas. So, just for the heck of it I went on a search for some.

But there's a catch...it had to be outside of Theosophical literature.

There's no better place to start such a search than on that great arbiter of all knowledge.

The very first result takes us to the website of David Lynch. There are some, I guess, who considered Twin Peaks and The Elephant Man to be evil. But that doesn't seem to be what we're looking for.

Next it was off to some Tibetan online dictionaries. After all, HPB got her knowledge from the Tibetans and surely all Tibetans know about dugpas. So, lets take a look at what several Tibetan online dictionaries had to say about it.

First, the dictionary at The Tibetan and Himalayan Library. That seems like a good place to start.

So we put in our search term:

And we were aghast to find that none were to be found!


This site has multiple types of phonetic search, so another attempt was made...

With the same result.


Undeterred, it was time to head off to another Tibetan to English Dictionary, this site claiming to be the very first on the web.

Faithfully, we enter our term:

And the same result:

At this point, my faith is really starting to get shaken. One more try, and if I don't find a real dugpa, well...well, you know.

So, one last look. This time we're looking at the Niratha Online Tibetan English Dictionary.

We can't show you the results because their site says we can't, but you can go and get the answer on your own, and we all know what it is:

"We are sorry that we could not find your entry in the dictionary. You may want to check your entry again."

Which was done...with the same results. But wait!!!

A visit back to the dictionary yielded a hint: "Enter the Tibetan term in a Wylie format (i.e. karma would be kar ma). Upon doing so, we got results. Things are looking up once again.

Or are they?

Let's see:

dug pa

{zas kyis dug pa} poisoned by food [ry]

dug pa - old coat or garment patched up and mended, dress, garment [JV]

dug pa - 1) tattered clothing; 2) [arch] bad [IW]

So, there you go, we must constantly be on guard against old, tattered clothing.

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Dear Mark

Plase state, Who are you adressing.
Dan is using an older derivation of dugpa - hallowed by the use by Boris de Zirkoff, but Reigle, knowing about it feels his version is more reliable. For one thing the gdugpa derivation is an adjective, not a noun. Other reasons are harder to understand, but can be summed up as: just because two words have similar sounds, and similar meaning, doesn't mean one derives from the other.

I'd like to repeat what I said to start with: Tibetan is a very difficult language to try and understand from dictionaries. Especially as Blavatsky used a transcription that's very unlike the transcription people use today. Worse: Tibetan spelling is very far from phonetic (worse than French), and that means that transcription has varied a LOT before scholars decided on one system.
For what it is worth, here is an eyewitness account by an early Theosophist who uses the word "dugpas". The narrative was written by R. Casava Pillai, an Inspector of Police, Nellore, India:

On my meeting Madame Blavatsky on the 18th [of September 1882] at Allahabad, we both, along with Babula, started for the North, and reached Chandernagore on the morning of the 19th idem by the mail train.

I there left Madame Blavatsky and her servant near the Railway Station, and crossed the Hughly by a boat to the other side, and walked about 5 miles to the Nalhati Station, and then took the mail train for Siliguri, which I reached on the 20th idem early in the morning, and took the rail for Darjiling which place I reached about evening and met Babaji Dharbagirinath that very night just when I was in the greatest fix to find my way to the North.

We were both together until the 28th idem. We travelled together, both on horse-back and on foot in Bhutan, Sikkim, &c. We visited several "Gumpas" (temples). I had to cross and recross the Ranjit River more than twice, by the swinging bridge as well as the ferry boat.

In the course of these travels, just about Pari or Parchong on the northern frontier of Sikkim, I had the good fortune and happiness to see the blessed feet of the most venerated Masters Kut Humi and M. in their physical bodies. The very identical personages whose astral bodies I had seen in my dreams, &c., since 1869, and in 1876 in Madras, and on the 14th September 1882 in the head-quarters at Bombay. Besides, I have also seen a few advanced chelas, and among them, the blessed Jwalkool who is now a Mahatma.

On the 26th September evening, we both having heard that Madame Blavatsky and Ramaswamy Iyer had come to Darjilling, and was putting up in Babu Parvati Churn Roy's (Deputy Collector and Deputy Magistrate, and Superintendent of the Dehra-Dhun Survey) bungalow - "Willow-Cot," we met them there; and, I believe, Babu Nobin Krishna Bannerji and others of Bengal joined us subsequently.

In the course of our travels in Bhutan, Sikkim and Thibet, we had to sojourn for a night or two at a village in Bhutan where the Dugpas abound. Having staid all day long in a "Gumpah" belonging to that sect of "Dugpas" or the "Red Caps" who are so proficient in Black Magic, and having been rather indiscreet in talking ill of their sect, we had unwittingly placed ourselves in great danger. These "Dugpas" or their "Lamas" having suspected that we belonged to the other sect the Gelukpas or the White Magicians to whom they are inveterate enemies, began to exercise their evil influence, or "Jadu" over us that night, while we were taking shelter in the verandah of a poor man's house at Darjiling. All of a sudden I was disturbed in my sleep --- but was unable to get up, and saw in my half wakeful condition that some most poisonous and dire influence was coming upon me from two of the Lamas (Dugpa Sect) whom we were talking to in their "Gumpah" that day. This influence I was clearly conscious of, and saw it attempting to approach my companion who slept by, but was kept off by the brilliant glare going out of a talisman which he wore on his person. This was a most powerful talisman given to him by the Mahatmas, and by which he was protected. Myself having no such shield, the dark and poisonous influence having surrounded me I began to feel a choking sensation in my heart, and was most miserable. Just at this moment I saw (in my vision of course) Madame Blavatsky in a very disturbed mood, making some passes over me with her hand, and also taking hold of her large ring (with the "Sree-yentra" on it) and touching my forehead with it. Then the bad influence about me vanished, and I awoke and began to vomit, and felt ill for some time, and got better by the morning. The same night the above-mentioned "Dugpas" having failed in their attempt to injure us by "Jadu," they about 20 or more of them with torches and lights came to the place, and asked the owner of the house to show them where we were. Between them and us lay a slender woodwork. Then the very powerful talisman worn by my friend and the protection of our Masters saved us from falling into their hands, and diverted their attention. I mention the above rather long account as only one of the ways in which we were protected by the Masters in that dreadful country of Black Magic. Madame Blavatsky --- though at the time somewhere about Calcutta or Chandernagore or somewhere else, was not over the Himalayas, and was taking an active part in my personal safety. On my meeting Ramaswami Iyer at Darjiling, he asked me if any thing very particular had happened to us that night (the dangerous night in which we were exposed to Dugpa influence). On my asking him why he put the question, he told me that Madame Blavatsky was telling him the previous day "that we (myself and D. Nath) were exposing ourselves to the "Dugpa" influence, and were in the midst of the greatest danger, &c., &c.

Quoted from:

When you look at what we have seen in print about the activities of Dugpas, it is clear that they can and do work at multiple channels and levels. We have seen how they can send in manevolent influence directed to a single individual. On the other hand, they have psychologically influenced individuals. We have read about the comment of Holloway coming from the USA to London. According to the comments of CJ on the Couloumb affair, which almost wrecked TS, they were the agents of Dugpas, unknown to themselves. This brings up a very important issue. Everyone, and anyone, can be made to carryout actions detrimental to TS and theosophy, by the unsuspecting agents under the delusion that they are doing good for TS. This is most dangerous and can cause immense damage to TS and also create serious bad karma, since the perpetrator has to pay a heavy price, no matter they may be unaware of the trouble they are responsible.
The discussion on Dugpas usually comes up when there is a crisis in TS. The current crisis which started early last year and many believe it is continuing to this day, brings up the Dugpa issue again. What were their roles, only a high occultist can tell us. Hopefully, we have some and I hope they do talk on Internet.
Found from an outside source ( a Gnostic site), that might be of use to this thread...

"(Also known variously as Druk-pa, Dugpa, Brugpa, Dag dugpa or Dad dugpa) A large sect which broke from the Kagyug-pa “the Ones of the Oral Tradition.” They considered themselves as the heirs of the indian Gurus: their teaching, which goes back to Vajradhara, was conveyed through Dakini, from Naropa to Marpa and then to the ascetic and mystic poet Milarepa. Later on, Milarepa’s disciples founded new monasteries, and new threads appeared, among which are the Karmapa and the Drukpa. All those schools form the Kagyug-pa order, in spite of episodic internal quarrels and extreme differences in practice.

The Drukpa sect is recognized by their ceremonial large red hats, but it should be known that they are not the only “Red Hat” group (the Nyingmas also use red hats). The Drukpas have established a particular worship of the Dorje (Vajra, or thunderbolt, a symbol of the phallus).

Samael Aun Weor wrote repeatedly in many books that the Drukpas practice and teach Black Tantrism, by means of the expelling of the sexual energy."
This is very useful to me. i will quote this for a friend who is from the Gnostics.

It is one of the best explanations, though i've found also very useful information in the gramatical quotes and of course Daniel Caldwell citations...

Also, all of you helped with your other quotes and comments. But i've founded this one in particular from the gnostics very explainful and brief at the same time.
New to this site and this discussion, but curious about this myself for years, and wanted to share an answer given to me by a former meditation teacher of mine who spent a number of years as a Buddhist monastic before returning to the West (and who also had at least some familiarity with HPB's writings, especially "Isis Unveiled"). When I asked him about any insight he had to offer based on his experience as a Buddhist monk in India and Nepal, he replied that it was really more of an ordinary sectarian conflict within Buddhism in Tibet, with the Dugpas or red-caps as the traditionalist faction who sought to retain more of the indigenous Tibetan shamanic (i.e., Bhon) traditions and the Gelugpas or yellow-caps as reformers who wished to "purify" Tibetan Buddhism of its pre-Buddhist elements...a sectarian conflict in some ways analogous to the Catholic Church versus Puritanism and Protestantism generally within Western Christianity, albeit without the fanaticism and bloody religious wars so characteristic of the latter religion.
Dear friend

My views are:

I could suggest, that you read the whole of The Key to Theosophy.

H. P. Blavatsky wrote in The Key to Theosophy, 2nd ed., 1890:
"ENQUIRER. You seem very bitter against Spirits. As you have given me your views and your reasons for disbelieving in the materialization of, and direct communication in seances, with the disembodied spirits — or the "spirits of the dead" — would you mind enlightening me as to one more fact? Why are some Theosophists never tired of saying how dangerous is intercourse with spirits, and mediumship? Have they any particular reason for this?

THEOSOPHIST. We must suppose so. I know I have. Owing to my familiarity for over half a century with these invisible, yet but too tangible and undeniable "influences," from the conscious Elementals, semi-conscious shells, down to the utterly senseless and nondescript spooks of all kinds, I claim a certain right to my views.

ENQUIRER. Can you give an instance or instances to show why these practices should be regarded as dangerous?

THEOSOPHIST. This would require more time than I can give you. Every cause must be judged by the effects it produces. Go over the history of Spiritualism for the last fifty years, ever since its reappearance in this century in America — and judge for yourself whether it has done its votaries more good or harm. Pray understand me. I do not speak against real Spiritualism, but against the modern movement which goes under that name, and the so-called philosophy invented to explain its phenomena.

ENQUIRER. Don't you believe in their phenomena at all?

THEOSOPHIST. It is because I believe in them with too good reason, and (save some cases of deliberate fraud) know them to be as true as that you and I live, that all my being revolts against them. Once more I speak only of physical, not mental or even psychic phenomena. Like attracts like. There are several high-minded, pure, good men and women, known to me personally, who have passed years of their lives under the direct guidance and even protection of high "Spirits," whether disembodied or planetary. But these Intelligences are not of the type of the John Kings and the Ernests who figure in seance rooms. These Intelligences guide and control mortals only in rare and exceptional cases to which they are attracted and magnetically drawn by the Karmic past of the individual. It is not enough to sit "for development" in order to attract them. That only opens the door to a swarm of "spooks," good, bad and indifferent, to which the medium becomes a slave for life. It is against such promiscuous mediumship and intercourse with goblins that I raise my voice, not against spiritual mysticism. The latter is ennobling and holy; the former is of just the same nature as the phenomena of two centuries ago, for which so many witches and wizards have been made to suffer. Read Glanvil and other authors on the subject of witchcraft, and you will find recorded there the parallels of most, if not all, of the physical phenomena of nineteenth century "Spiritualism."

ENQUIRER. Do you mean to suggest that it is all witchcraft and nothing more?

THEOSOPHIST. What I mean is that, whether conscious or unconscious, all this dealing with the dead is necromancy, and a most dangerous practice. For ages before Moses such raising of the dead was regarded by all the intelligent nations as sinful and cruel, inasmuch as it disturbs the rest of the souls and interferes with their evolutionary development into higher states. The collective wisdom of all past centuries has ever been loud in denouncing such practices. Finally, I say, what I have never ceased repeating orally and in print for fifteen years: While some of the so-called "spirits" do not know what they are talking about, repeating merely — like poll-parrots — what they find in the mediums' and other people's brains, others are most dangerous, and can only lead one to evil. These are two self-evident facts. Go into spiritualistic circles of the Allan Kardec school, and you find "spirits" asserting re-incarnation and speaking like Roman Catholics born. Turn to the "dear departed ones" in England and America, and you will hear them denying re-incarnation through thick and thin, denouncing those who teach it, and holding to Protestant views. Your best, your most powerful mediums, have all suffered in health of body and mind. Think of the sad end of Charles Foster, who died in an asylum, a raving lunatic; of Slade, an epileptic; of Eglinton — the best medium now in England — subject to the same. Look back over the life of D. D. Home, a man whose mind was steeped in gall and bitterness, who never had a good word to say of anyone whom he suspected of possessing psychic powers, and who slandered every other medium to the bitter end. This Calvin of Spiritualism suffered for years from a terrible spinal disease, brought on by his intercourse with the "spirits," and died a perfect wreck. Think again of the sad fate of poor Washington Irving Bishop. 1 knew him in New York, when he was fourteen, and he was undeniably a medium. It is true that the poor man stole a march on his "spirits," and baptised them "unconscious muscular action," to the great gaudium of all the corporations of highly learned and scientific fools, and to the replenishment of his own pocket. But de mortuis nit nisi bonum; his end was a sad one. He had strenuously concealed his epileptic fits — the first and strongest symptom of genuine mediumship — and who knows whether he was dead or in a trance when the post-mortem examination was performed? His relatives insist that he was alive, if we are to believe Reuter's telegrams. Finally, behold the veteran mediums, the founders and prime movers of modern spiritualism — the Fox sisters. After more than forty years of intercourse with the "Angels," the latter have led them to become incurable sots, who are now denouncing, in public lectures, their own life-long work and philosophy as a fraud. What kind of spirits must they be who prompted them, I ask you? "

And H. P. Blavatsky wrote in "REINCARNATIONS IN TIBET", 1882:
"The regular system of the Lamaïc incarnations of “Sanggyas” (or Buddha) began with Tsong-Kha-pa. This reformer is not the incarnation of one of the five celestial Dhyanis, or heavenly Buddhas, as is generally supposed, said to have been created by Sakya Muni after he had risen to Nirvana, but that of “Amita,” one of the Chinese names for Buddha. The records preserved in the Gompa (lamasery) of “Tashi-Lhünpo” (spelt by the English Teshu Lumbo) show that Sang-gyas incarnated himself in Tsong-Khapa in consequence of the great degradation his doctrines had fallen into. Until then, there had been no other incarnations than those of the five celestial Buddhas and of their Bodhisattvas, each of the former having created (read, overshadowed with his spiritual wisdom) five of the last-named—there were, and now are in all but thirty incarnations—five Dhyanis and twenty-five Bodhisattvas. It was because, among many other reforms, Tsong-Kha-pa forbade necromancy (which is practiced to this day with the most disgusting rites, by the Böns—the aborigines of Tibet—with whom the Red Caps, or Shammars, had always fraternized), that the latter resisted his authority. This act was followed by a split between the two sects. Separating entirely from the Gelukpas, the Dugpas (Red Caps) —from the first in a great minority—settled in various parts of Tibet, chiefly its borderlands, and principally in Nepal and Bhutan. But, while they retained a sort of independence at the monastery of Sâkya-Jong, the Tibetan residence of their spiritual (?) chief Gong-sso Rinpoche, the Bhutanese have been from their beginning the tributaries and vassals of the Taley-Lamas."

- - -

So these Red-Cap and Spiritualist practises are very dangerous .
Are you still considering the split only to be merely a difference between sects?

M. Sufilight
Dear Joe

My views are:

Where did it say: "no internal references"???

And there might also be another catch or two. Because, I was only stating my views, something which was clearly written at the beginning of the above post.
To prove what I am saying each individual will have to dig out for themselves.
And there is no talk about excommunicating anyone neither as ordinary members of this forum or as moderators? As far as I am concerned, we are just exchanging views here.

But perhaps I have misunderstod, what altruism really is all about?

M. Sufilight
All I know about this is that when you join the Dugpas you get a cool, red hat and a secret decoder ring but all the Masters give you is a book of tofu recipes.
You remind me to ol' Chuck the heretic. BTW, pardon my ignorance, what was of this guy? hahahahaa...
Ok, hoping that THIS INFO could be very useful.
(Pardon me but i'm sort of tired of reading all of THESE POSTS about creepy dugpas - puf puf puf...-i just read them ALL)

Well as i write from Mexico i happen to read and find a very popular book in Mexico about spirituality. This book is written by a guy nicknamed "Ayocuan" and wrote a book very popular in Spanish New Age Culture called "the sleeping woman has to give birth" (La mujer dormida debe dar a luz) This book in resume, is a biography of a guy who meet this nazi guy in the fifties in Mexico who knew a lot of spirituality and of Tibetan Buddhism, and becomes his spiritual teacher. As the caracter of "Seven years in Tibet" This Nazi told the main caracter of the book that he was sent by the Nazis to pursuit the development of spiritual-magic-psiquic powers with some lamas of Thibet. The MAIN POINT HERE IS that he is told to search for some 'bhon masters' by Hitler and some other high rank nazis so he can become some sort of superhuman. Luckily he finds some Yellow hat monks of very high ranks in Thibetan buddhism, and he is asked why he wants to find 'bhon magicians' If he is a good person, why he wants to be in deals with black magicians?" He is litteraly told.

Also he was told that the nazis would loose power, he abandons nazi doctrines and becomes a powerful spiritual teacher under a very high-rank monks supervision, for what it is told in the book - the most juicy part of it - it must be Gelug-pa or Yellow caps monks for what i had read.

It is a very caracteristic book of spanish language New-Age, for an author of the "Regina" type spirituality type of esotheric, ancient Mexican-like knowledge. Also describes the conversion of "Ayocuan" into a very powerful spiritual teacher, but this part in the book is the most important, IT IS NOT a THEOSOPHY LITERATURE BOOK, and that's the most delightful of all, it does coincide in all with blavatsky's teachings even though is not a Theosophical book.

Of the latter exposed here, I just learned more and more thanks to you all, as always, and it makes me clear after this to me that:

The Red caps or dugpas are a generic name for one of the branches of Tibetan buddhism, separated from the Yellow caps or Gelug-pas, more followers of Tsongs-kapa
And that "Bhons" or "Bons" is the generic name for Shaman or animist old religion of early primitive Tibet. And as always, as for example you could confuse the horrid cult of "Santa Muerte" of Mexico - a "Bhon" cult" with the more traditional cult to virgin mary, San Judas -St Jude - Tadeo, (of traditional church likeness)

And, as i learned, not that it is from Dalai Lama, or the Pope, means that they are infalible or do not make "cismas" (cisms), or collisions with other branches, in their respective churches and religions.

Thank you for making me more cultivated in a very difficult to understand matter.


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