Fighting for Buddha

6,000 Buddhist monks in Bylakuppe, South India, gather every year for what is said to be the largest religious debate in the world. As the warriors in red 'fight' for peace, we at UNTOLD follow them through this ironic practice that's complimenting Buddha's teachings on compassion.

2,500 years ago, Gautam Buddha advised his followers to analyse and learn the logic behind his philosophies instead of blindly believing them. It is the same practice that we see unfolding at Bylakupee today, thousands of years laterhe whole purpose of the debate is to rip apart the structure of thought. For disciples to inch closer towards the sheer meaning of our existence. To explore what is peace and happiness and how one truly achieves it, albeit masking it with a fierce act.Even if you don’t understand a word that’s exchanged, their fiery passion gets translated beyond the realms of religion. The scholarly hymns draw you in, to an intimate performance guided not just by a spiritual; but also by an instinctive gut.

Sera monastery in Bylakupee, a Tibetan exiled colony in Karnataka, holds what is supposedly, the largest religious debate in the world every year.

In search of the ultimate truth, this war of words can turn nasty.

The warring monks act out the debating battle in large courtyards

Verbal tussles may lead to physical brawls, while monks and nuns clap and stomp their feet chanting the answers to peace and love.

After the debate, it’s endearing to see the very same opposing monks embracing each other and laughing their way back to monastic halls.

Buddhist scriptures are reasoned out by the saviours of Tibetan Buddhism, to know ancient mantras like the back of their hands