DHARAMSHALA: Kalon Pema Chhinjor of the Department of Religion and Culture, today inaugurated the month-long annual inter-nunnery winter debate session (Tib: Jang-Gun-Choe) at the Jamyang Choeling nunnery, located 15 kms from Dharamshala.
Extolling the rich traditions of Tibetan Buddhism, Kalon Pema Chhinjor said “Buddhism is vital to the survival of the Tibetan culture. And as a practitioner of the Dharma, Buddhist nuns have a heavy responsibility to fulfill.
Speaking about the Geshema Degree, he said, “considering the level of education attained by the nuns of the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, a high level meeting was held in May where it was decided that nuns who passes the final examination after completing 21 years of studies will be conferred with a Geshema degree”.
He said with the conferment of Geshema degrees, he hopes to see Buddhist centers and institutes set up by nuns across the world in the future.
He also stressed the need for self-reliance in the nunneries, adding that in the future, nunneries should be able to appoint their own abbots, teachers and staff among themselves.
Kasur Rinchen Khando, the founder and chairperson of the Tibetan Nuns Project, thanked His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the Department of Religion and Culture for their deep commitment towards the Tibetan nuns.
She said, nuns of the Tibetan Buddhist tradition have attained high levels of Buddhist education and welcomed the decision to award Geshema degrees to Tibetan nuns.
Jang-Gun-Choe is an annual winter debate session held in the Jang region, located west of Lhasa in Tibet. It is an inter monastic/nunnery debate session which is held for one month.
More than 300 nuns from seven different nunneries across India and Nepal are participating in this year’s session.