The Gelugpa school of Tibetan Buddhism is a very ancient and sacred place where monks and nuns help its corrridors stay peaceful. But this is for the first time that the nuns are getting the same recognition as the monks.

The Drepung Monastery’s historic ceremony of choosing doctors of philosophy for the school witnessed a huge number of nuns receiving the geshema degree, Lion’s Roar reported. Equivalent to PhD in Buddhist philosophy, the geshema degrees were given to both nuns and monks this time, unlike earlier when it was offered to men only.

Among the gathering were 20 nuns who came from five different nunneries in India and Nepal to receive their ‘Doctorates’ from the hands of the Dalai Lama himself on December 22 in Mundgod, India.

Nuns Earn “Doctorates” Of Tibetan Buddhism
A nun holding her geshema certificate (Pic Credit: Lion’s Roar)

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Monks and (now) nuns can get the prestigious degree only after confirming 17 years of arduous studies and four years of examinations.

Until this year’s ceremony, only monks were allowed to receive geshema degrees. Being able to be recieved doctorates this time, the nuns’ joy knew no bounds.

As doctors of philosophy, the nuns will now teach at the school.

To recieve the degrees, all the nuns wearing yellow geshema hats appeared on the stage and were cheered for their feat.

After bestowing the geshemas to the achivers, His Holiness The Dalai Lama said, “With access to education, women can now become leaders. Today’s world needs love and compassion. That is why I call women who are naturally connected to the power of maternal love to play a more active role in the world. And if they are educated, they will be even more able to do so.”

The Geshema degree in Buddhism has opened up a new chapter of empowerment and education of nuns in Nepal and the world over.

Feature Image Credit: Lion’s Roar

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