Six Monk representatives from Gaden Shartse
return to Austin again after a 4 year absence.
The Gaden Shartse monastery to which these monks belong,
has a long history beginning in the 15th century.
Today the monastery meets educational needs for Tibetan exiles
and is a thriving community in southern India.
Accommodation, food, and instruction are all free and
provided by the monastic administration.
Monastery offers basic courses in Tibetan History,
Literature, Poetry, Grammar, English, and Mathematics
as prerequisites for more advanced courses.
Additionally, there are optional areas of study such as Painting,
and Sand Mandala creation.
Aside from the English language
and mathematics teachers
who are recruited from outside the Monastery,
every member of the staff has graduated from the Monastery.
Teachers are considered to be the source of both academic
and spiritual guidance of the student population.
Following the democratic constitution promulgated by
His Holiness the Dalai Lama in 1964, all Tibetan institutions now
function as parts of a democratic government.
Although privately administered,
the College is also administered
on an election basis.
Every three years eight board members
are elected to serve as directors.
Unlike other active
educational centers of its size in India,
Monastery does not receive
any funding from the Indian government.
Thus the need to meet the financial obligations of the Monastery is urgent.
Theses tours generate the source of most of the Colleges' revenue