Practical Advices for Attending the Teachings in India

During public teachings of His Holiness the Dalai Lama in India you are advised to bring the following items: a cushion, a cup, and a sunhat. Given the security checks that take place at the teaching venues, as little else as possible should be brought to the teaching venue.

Registration

In general, all teachings in India are free and open to the public. For teachings in Dharamsala, you need to register in person at the Tibetan Branch Security Office in McLeod Ganj (near Hotel Tibet). There is no advance registration service. Registration begins approximately three days before the actual start of the teaching and ends the first day of the teaching. For registration, you will need to bring 2 passport size photos along with your passport. A service fee of Rs. 10/- is collected for each teaching pass. Since up to several thousand people can attend the teachings, we recommend that you plan to arrive at least two or three days before the teachings begin and ensure that your accommodations are arranged well in advance. There are a number of hotels and guesthouses in Dharamsala. Teaching hours are also decided a day or two before the teachings begin and then made public.
 
Seating

Seating is usually reserved on a first-come first-serve basis. In the West, seating for public events is in most cases designated by your ticket and seat number. In India, seating for teachings is usually on the ground. The conventional practice amongst Tibetans is that you take your seat on the first day of a series of teachings, mark it with your cushion or piece of cloth, and thereafter, keep to that same seat for the duration of the teachings. This is how Tibetans have traditionally avoided hassling with each other over who sits where every day. So, following the old adage, when in Rome, do as the Romans do, it seems reasonable to suggest that when among Tibetans, do as the Tibetans do. Usually, people come to the teaching venue 1 or 2 days before the teaching begins to reserve their seating space. For people requiring translation services, there are designated areas arranged at the teaching venue.        
 
Translation

His Holiness primarily teaches in Tibetan. Therefore, on most occasions when His Holiness is teaching in India an effort is made to provide official translation into English and a few other languages depending on the availability of officially-approved translators. Translation can be listened to only on officially-provided radios. Please note that as a result of new security measures, no outside electronic gadgets, including fm radios, will be allowed in the teaching premises. A booth located after the security check will be set-up for those needing radios. A security deposit will be collected at the time of picking up a radio. Radios need to be returned to the booth prior to exiting the temple premise. Security deposits will be returned after the radio is returned. If you are planning to return for the teachings, please inform the booth and you will be issued a coupon which can be presented for issuance of a radio when you return. If a radio is taken outside the secure zone (beyond the security gates) you will not be allowed to bring it back into the teaching premise.

Tea and Offerings to the Monastic Community

It is customary for tea to be served to the gathering attending the teachings, so it is worthwhile for you to carry your own cup. You will often notice that money is offered to monks and nuns. This is an offering to the members of the sangha. Both the tea and offerings are paid for by contributions from patrons and the general public. If you would like to make a contribution, an office near the teaching area is usually set up where such donations can be made. How much you give is entirely at your discretion.  
 
Protection from the Sun and the Weather

His Holiness makes a point of encouraging those who are sitting in the hot sun to cover their heads in order to protect themselves. Similarly he advises people to use umbrellas or take shelter should it rain. It is therefore useful to carry a hat or visor and/or a small umbrella depending on the local weather conditions at the time of the teaching.  

Shoes  

Tibetans tend to keep their shoes on when they are sitting on the ground, or at least keep them on until they sit down. Taking your shoes off and carrying them in your hand through a crowd sitting on the ground means that you are carrying your shoes right in front of people's faces, which most people prefer to avoid.

 

Latest News

Concluding Session of the 14th World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates
December 15th 2014
Rome, Italy, 14 December 2014 - Today, Nobel Peace Laureates gathered in the Giulio Cesar Hall on Rome’s Capitol Hill for the final session of their 14th World Summit. Proceedings opened with Ekaterina Zagladina, President of Permanent Secretariat of the World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates, delivering a message from President Mikhail Gorbachev.

Second Day of the 14th World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates
December 14th 2014

Peace - Living It. The 14th World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates
December 13th 2014

His Holiness the Dalai Lama Arrives in Rome to Attend the World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates
December 11th 2014

Avalokiteshvara Jinasagara Empowerment Completes Teachings for Mongolians
December 5th 2014

Explore