Buddhist Scholars Worried the Faith is Being Eroded by Western Culture

March 7, 2004

Source: Daily Times


On March 7, 2004 the Daily Times ran an Agence France Presse that reported, "With young lamas increasingly seen sipping fizzy drinks and queueing up for movies, Buddhist scholars in India’s remote frontier state of Sikkim are worried that their faith is being eroded by Western-style consumerism. 'Many old Buddhist traditions and rituals are being lost with the passage of time. We are apprehensive about our faith becoming diluted,' said Tashi Densepa, director of the Institute of Tibetology in Gangtok, the picturesque state capital of Sikkim. 'The social changes sweeping across the world have had their impact on the pure and traditional forms of Buddhism,' he told AFP. Movies and colas aside, orthodox lamas lament that celibacy, which is not mandatory for Buddhist monks but which has been widely followed by generations of lamas, is increasingly being ignored in Sikkim."