The best news you’ll hear today: loudspeakers have been banned in religious places in India!

If you’ve ever been to the holy sites in India, you’ll know what this is about. There’s been an escalating war of loudness in holy places, with everyone trying to out-blare everyone else. Whether it’s the Hindu temple at Bodhgaya trying to blast over the stupa :loud_sound: , or the incredibly annoying Thai monks wandering around with loudspeakers strapped on to lecture to their little group of followers :loudspeaker: , the quality of silence has been strained to breaking. :exploding_head:

A petition was made to have this noise banned:

And the High Court approved it:

Life just got a little more peaceful for pilgrims and worshipers in India. :pray:

Thanks to Cecilia Mitra from the FABC for the heads up.


When I was visiting India in 1998 I stayed in a little Himalayan town called Rewalsar which is a pilgrimage site for Tibetan Buddhists, Hindus, and Sikhs. And it was at 3:30 in the morning that the Hindu temple started their puja using the loudspeakers… I know what you are talking about!

This is indeed fantastic news! :cherry_blossom:


I quite liked the 'buddham sharanam gachami etc. playing around and around outside the bodh-gaya temple.
Ajahn Chah said we go out and disturb the sound - not the other way round.

I’ve been to many part of India , rather strange but normally I don’t notice any Hindu temple or buddhist community in most places in India (other than Thai monks mentioned in bodhgaya) blasting with loudspeakers causing irritation to others ?!
Perhaps , what looks more tolerable in every part of India is towards mostly the mosque . Every morning and evening , you can’t missed it ! Unless one is deaf ! Yet , it seems no one is complaining the azan disturbing the sleeping ! Huh ?! Or no one dare to voice out in majority of Muslims countries especially in Indonesia and Brunei .

That’s the rare exception that proves the rule.

ha ha - the real silence - where is it located?
Does it have a location?

Well, if someone burns your ear you would not say that.


I think the same is true for odours as well, but we wouldn’t really want to allow people to relieve themselves at Bodhgaya or in Hindu temples, would we?


There’s a story they tell about a monk who once stayed with Ajaan Chah during the rains
retreat. Half of the roof of his hut blew off in a rain storm, and as Ajaan Chah was later
walking around the monastery to check on the storm damage, he noticed that half of the roof
had blown off and that the monk was simply sleeping in that half of the hut that was still
roofed. Ajaan Chah asked him, “Why are you doing this? Why aren’t you fixing your hut?” The
monk said, I’m trying to practice equanimity. Ajaan Chah’s response was: “That’s not the
equanimity that the Buddha taught, that’s the equanimity of a water buffalo,” or we in English
would say, it’s the equanimity of a cow.


ok i give up the loud speakers at indian temples is really really truly-rooly a problem in the real-world and not just a perception born from a predilection for quiet places. i will stop meditating in the middle of the fish-market on its busiest day post-haste as this is an inappropriate place to develop equanimity and enjoy real peace and inner silence. i must make the world a silent place in order to enjoy real peace and quiet. get rid of the markets, get rid of all unruly disturbances turn the world into one big national park full of singing birds and gentle streams. eureka! i have understood buddhism!

question: what is a holy-place a sacred-space?

maybe the guy who did not fix the roof was just lazy - maybe he wasn’t thinking of the next person who may need the hut - that’s another issue. tree-roots are good-enough to meditate under and sleeping in the rain would have been more impressive! if he had been sleeping in the uncovered half the ajahn may have had a giggle and kept walking - we will never know?

I approve this message


You might be remembering Tusita! :heart_eyes:

Yes, I understand your point but it is not quite the same thing. Our dear Ajahn revealed something when he said the cyclic chanting of the 3-refuges outside the main vihara at ‘Bodh Gaya’ was the ‘exception that proves the rule’. To a Buddhist this chanting may seem sweet - particularly Theravada Buddhists who know the Pali-formula. The Hindus may feel the same way about their devotional chants and bhajans being played outside their temples. I quite like the Muslim call-to-prayer and most forms of religious music so I guess its different strokes for different folks. Maybe if they could afford better sound systems it would be better. I did a retreat in ‘Bodh Gaya’ last visit to India. I was very happy to be meditating in that sacred-place.

Directly opposite from the retreat an Indian wedding started up that happened over a few nights in a row. I was sleeping in a dorm and the doof-doof Goa-type-techno was so loud that it was vibrating the window directly behind my head. I slept like a baby! I also had a broken big-toe and a twisted ankle but felt sure it was the place to be - regardless - enormous good-fortune.

The first night was tough before I moved into the dorm. I spent that night in a two-man tent and this dog was barking all night. All night long I kept on thinking that ‘nuisance’ dog and I did not understand why it was barking. It was a mother-dog who was tirelessly protecting her babies all-night-long. A few days later her big round playful puppies came barrelling through the retreat facility sniffing and having fun. Perception is an interesting process - what we see and do not see - what we hear and do not hear? :heart_eyes:


Some birds are annoying to some people. I know a lady who hates crows. But I love it because my mother said when crow sings mean some relatives coming to our house. I knew they bring lollies when they come.

The problem here is the continous never-ending noise.
This all depends on the person too.
In Istanbul, hotels provide earplugs to guests.
But I was looking forward to the morning prayers.


Why are loudspeakers invented?
I found the sound of the fire brigade, ambulance and police are annoying.
You understand this if you are living in a place like New York.

I was camping on ‘Rottnest Island’ and a part of the crow community would come in the morning - to start the day - and sit in this big gum-tree near my tent. They all arrived and then started a collective chorus of (synchronised) ahh-ahh-aohhhhhhh ‘chanting’. There must have been some cue/cues - perhaps from the elders - that it was time to head-off to the human-dump or, wherever they were busy with their daily activities. They all flew of together! There chanting was music to my ears - a lot like aum-chanting with the extended refrain- amazing.

At what point does the unpleasant feeling arise? Sense contact conditions consciousness conditions feeling conditions grasping … clinging etc.

A conception feeds the perception - giving rise to unpleasant feeling - how does this suffering arise?

Loud-speakers are used in alarm-systems that are designed - are intended - to ‘alarm’. When we hear anything through this sound-system we may feel obliged to be alarmed? They have a negative-association - danger, beware - and the music-buffs and aesthetes among us may be particularly alarmed by these kinds of phenomena?

Sound arises and passes away - a fluctuation in air pressure … contact/consciousness … pleasant/unpleasant feelings arise and pass away … not-grasping/clinging … everything is teaching us?

I can think of a few important things that need fixing in India before they get around to the sound-systems but that might be for another thread in a parallel - universe.