Truth: Geshe Kelsang was the first Resident Teacher at Manjushri Institute. He later accepted Lama Yeshe’s request for him to step down and had made plans to return to India and then to live at Madhyamaka Centre (which Geshe Kelsang founded independent of the FPMT) in York. However, the community at Manjushri all petitioned him to stay.
The community of Manjushri Institute wished to save their building, Conishead Priory, from being sold to make funds available for suspect business dealings in Hong Kong. This meant they needed to separate from the FPMT. On the other hand, they wished Lama Yeshe to stay as their Spiritual Director. After continual discussions on how to solve the problem, also involving two representatives from the Dalai Lama, the Institute’s managers – then called the ‘Priory Group’ – decided to take steps to separate Manjushri Institute from FPMT.
There were three main reasons for doing this:
1) FPMT managers had committed serious illegal actions, which was public knowledge among many people at Dharma centres;
2) FPMT managers wanted to sell Manjushri Institute’s building; and
3) Although, according to its constitution, legally everything at the centre belonged only to four people, in reality all the work of developing the centre was being done by the community, and not these four.
Eventually, a legally binding agreement was made, which was signed by the FPMT’s representatives, Geshe Kelsang, the Priory Group and the community representatives. One part of the agreement was to confirm that Lama Yeshe was the Spiritual Director of Manjushri Centre.
The whole detailed history of Manjushri Institute over these years has been chronicled by three reliable witnesses who were part of the proceedings.