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Tibetan Buddhist scholars seek high degree

By Daqiong and Palden Nyima in?Lhasa | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2021-09-26 10:49
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Tibetan Buddhist scholars debated principles of the dharma and interpreted scriptural sutras as aspirants sought the highest academic degree in the discipline this week.

Preliminary examinations for the 2022 Geshi Lharampa degree of the Gelukpa School were conducted from Monday in Lhasa, Tibet autonomous region. It is the highest academic degree and requires many years of study.

The Tibet branch of the China Buddhist Association said that 13 monk scholars from key monasteries of the region took part in the examinations this year, and all 13 passed the preliminary examination. This qualifies them to take the final examinations next spring in Lhasa.

Jampal Dorje, a monk from the region's Champaling Monastery, said the tradition of the Geshe Lharampa examination was started by Tsongkhapa (1357-1419), the founder of the Gelukpa School. In recent decades, the tradition has been developed and passed on with the support of the government.

"Monk scholars undergoing the Geshe Lhamrampa debates also have to take exams in cultural courses, including grammar, poetry, current affairs and politics, to get a better understanding of social affairs and adapt to the modern socialist society," Jampal Dorje said.

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