The University of Scranton hosts enlightening programs by Tibetan monks

June 19th, 2015 9:09 am

First Posted: 12/3/2014

A group of visiting Tibetan Buddhist monks from the Gaden Shartse Monastic College in southern India will conduct two free events at The University of Scranton on Monday, Dec. 8.

Beginning at 9 a.m. and continuing throughout the day, the monks will create a sand mandala of peace in the Atrium of the Loyola Science Center. Defined as “that which extracts the essence,” the mandala represents the architectural layout of the entire palace of a specific deity, as well as the monks’ vision of the entire universe. Sand is applied precisely by the gentle tapping of a sand-filled metal cone that has had its tip removed.

At 6 p.m. in the PNC Auditorium of the Loyola Science Center, the monks will recite the Tara Puja ritual and prayers with melodic music for inner peace and compassion, followed by a question-and-answer session, the dissolution (sweeping) of the mandala and the blessing and distribution of sand.

The Gaden Shartse Monastic College was founded in 1969 by a small group of elder monks and 15 young boys who had managed to escape the destruction in Tibet in the wake of the Chinese Cultural Revolution. Located on land given by the Indian government, the college - which is home to more than 1,600 students, teachers, scholars and spiritual practitioners - is considered by some to be a leader in the field of Buddhist and Tibetan studies.

The purpose of the tour is to share with all people the monks’ culture, as well as practices and paths to inner peace and compassion. The university’s Asian Studies Program is sponsoring the events, along with Lackawanna County, the City of Scranton, and Yoga Journeys.

For more information, call the university’s Asian Studies Program at 570-941-7643 or email