The much-anticipated Geshema Exam results have just arrived. The results have been sent to the respective nunneries and have been announced to all the nuns.
The third round of Geshema Examinations took place from May 1-12, 2015 at Jangchub Choeling Nunnery in Mundgod in southern India. 37 Tibetan nuns took part in this round of examinations split as:
- 11 in the first year of examinations,
- 6 nuns in the second year,
- and 20 in the third year.
20 nuns sat for the exams. We are very happy to say that everyone passed from this level. The nuns came from the following nunneries: Dolma Ling (6 nuns), Geden Choeling (1 nun), Jangchup Choling (5 nuns), Jamyang Choeling (6 nuns) and Kopan Nunnery (2 nuns).
1st position Namdrol Phuntsok from Kopan Nunnery: 87.11%
2nd position Tenzin Kunsel from Dolma Ling Nunnery and Institute: 85.97%
3rd position Lobsang Choedon from Jamyang Choeling Nunnery: 82.33%
6 nuns sat the second round of the exams. They came from the following nunneries: Jangchup Choeling (3 nuns), Geden Choeling (1 nun) and Dolma Ling (2 nuns). Again we are very happy to report that everyone from this level passed the exams.
1st position Ngawang Palkyi from Jangchup Choeling Nunnery: 82.43%
2nd position Lobsang Lhamo from Jangchup Choeling Nunnery: 79.50%
3rd position Lobsang Dolka from Dolma Ling Nunnery and Institute: 73.54%
11 nuns sat for the exams, all but 1 nun passed. Three nuns came from Dolma Ling Nunnery and Institute and 8 from Jangchup Choeling Nunnery.
1st position Tenzin Dolkar from Jangchup Choeling Nunnery: 87.07%
2nd position Tenzin Namdrol from Jangchup Choeling Nunnery: 79.59%
3rd position Dawa Choezom from Jangchup Choeling Nunnery: 73.61%
The nuns have resumed back to their normal classes and have begun studying for their next level of exams.
About the Geshema Exams
The Geshema examination process is a rigorous one that takes four years in total, with one round per year each May. The fourth round of examinations will be held in 2016 at Geden Choeling Nunnery in Dharamsala in Himachal Pradesh, northern India.
The Geshema degree is the female equivalent of a Geshe degree and is similar to a doctorate in Buddhist philosophy. It is the highest level of training in the Gelugpa school of Tibetan Buddhism. These women pioneers have taken the opportunity to accomplish a level of scholarship and Buddhist training that was previously almost exclusively available to men.
Next year will be a milestone for Tibetan Buddhist nuns. For the first time, Tibetan nuns will receive the Geshema degree, fulfilling a longstanding wish of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and marking a new chapter in the development of the nuns’ education.
The Geshema exams are organized according to the special regulation passed in 2012 and carried out under the supervision of Geshema Examination Board, which is comprised of representatives from Department of Religion and Culture of the Central Tibetan Administration, the Tibetan Nuns Project, the Institute of Buddhist Dialectics-Dharamshala and six concerned nunneries located in India and Nepal.
Supporting education has been a primary goal of the Tibetan Nuns Project which was founded in 1987 to provide education and humanitarian aid to Tibetan Buddhist nuns living in India.
Earning the Geshema degrees will be a turning point for the women, as the degree will make them eligible to assume various leadership roles in the monastic and lay communities, previously reserved for men.