Young monks hone skills in Tibetan Buddhism in Dharamsala

ANI, Sept 23, 2007

Dharamsala, India -- Young Tibetans-in-exile undergo training in the monasteries in Dharamsala to understand the nuances of the Tibetan Buddhism.

With the day breaking at 5 a.m., the students follow a strict routine throughout the day that includes chanting Buddhist mantras, listening and reciting alphabet, and Buddhist dialectics.

The monks are taught in English, Tibetan, and other Indian and foreign languages, including Chinese. There is no age-limit for monks to get admitted in the monasteries.

"By learning responsibly what is taught then he or she can pursue it (Tibetan Buddhism), and then take on the responsibility of the future of Tibet," said Tsenlek, a student.

"We have just 13 classes in monastery. Debate classes are held to check the students' aptitude. Then we see what they know about Tibetan Buddhism," said Tenzin, a teacher.

The Dalai Lama and about 100,000 Tibetans have been living in exile in Dharamsala since fleeing their predominantly Buddhist homeland in 1959 after a failed uprising against the Communist rule.

The Dalai Lama has set up over 200 monasteries in 54 different settlements all over the world. More than 20,000 monks study Buddhism in these monasteries every year.

An estimated 134,000 Tibetans live-in-exile, a majority of them in India and Nepal.