By Tenzin Monlam
DHARAMSHALA, July 18: For the first time in the history of Tibetan Buddhism and twenty Tibetan nuns have become the first batch of Tibetan nuns to become Geshemas, which was non existent before the Tibetan leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama suggested that a curriculum be developed for the nuns.
The Buddhist monastic degree for the nuns, which is somewhat equivalent to doctorate in five treatises of Tibetan Buddhism, was welcomed by the monastic community.
The decision to conduct Geshema examination was arrived at a high-level meeting of Department of Religion and Culture in May 2012 after His Holiness, at the 11th meeting of Tibetan religious heads in Sept 2011, had suggested the religious heads to chalk out an academic procedure for the degree interpreted widely as a Doctorate in Buddhist philosophy.
All the 20 candidates have passed the 12 day long grueling examination divided into two parts - oral (debate) and written examination.
In order to appear for Geshema exminations, a nun must first study the Five Great Canonical Texts (Shung Chen Kapo Nga) thoroughly for 17 years in their respective nunneries. Only then nuns will be allowed to appear for the four-year course.