DHARAMSHALA: The first ever Geshema dialetic debate is currently underway at Jamyang Choeling nunnery, located about 10 kms from Dharamshala. 27 nuns from various nunneries across India are participating in the debate which will be held from 20 May – 3 June.
The debating session is 30 minutes, 15 minutes for questions and 15 minutes for answering. The debates are fully monitored and controlled by the Nun Examination Board, comprising of members from Gaden Choeling, Dolma Choeling, Jangchup Choeling, Kachoe Gakyil, the Tibetan Nun’s project and the Department of Religion. Four Geshes from the three great monasteries are also assessing the performance of the nuns.
The historic decision to award Geshema degrees to qualified nuns was reached last year after a two-day meeting between high lamas, representative of nuns and members of the Tibetan Nun Project. It was decided during the meeting that nuns who passes the final examination after completing a total of 21 years of studies will be conferred a Geshema degree.
Considering the high level of education attained by the nuns of the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, His Holiness the Dalai Lama have also over the years, strongly advocated the need to award Geshema degrees.
“The system of debate is similar with the monks except for a few minor differences. The education standard of the nuns are very good,” said Geshe Ladangpa Yeshi Lhundup from Loseling Monastery.