The purpose is for the monks to hold discussions about their religious studies. A defending monk will stand and present his thesis to another monk or group of monks that are seated on the ground. He will make statements about how he has interpreted the meaning of a religious teaching. To further emphasize his point he will often reach out towards the others and loudly clap his hands together. The opposing monks will question the statements that have been made. They will try to draw the defending monk into making an error or contradict himself. The debating gets very passionate and intense. It’s quite a ruckus of noise that’s created by dozens of monks bantering back and forth and forcefully clapping their hands.