View Full Version : First Nun in History of Tibetan Buddhism Receives Geshe Degree

28 Jul 11, 00:18
Recently, the Venerable Kelsang Wangmo, a German nun, received the prestigious Geshe Degree from the Institute for Buddhist Dialectical Studies in Dharamsala, India, the first nun ever to do so. The Dalai lama observed that while the Buddha taught equality for women, later generations had failed to follow his lead. His Holiness said that although he, himself, had done as much as he could to open opportunities for education and advancement to nuns, he is not able to effect change unilaterally. The agreement and cooperation of elders throughout the TB hierarchy are required.

Tenzin Palmo, a British nun who founded a nunnery in India, said that many obstacles and challenges face nuns who wish to acquire an advanced education. Palmo details her own experiences in her book, "Cave in the Snow".

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michaela-haas/buddhism-women_b_862798.html for more information

29 Jul 11, 06:22
So, are these rarities matters of discrimination or just a reflection of (women's) aspirations? :confused:

29 Jul 11, 06:38
Nuns can't get full ordination in Tibetan Buddhism so I think they go to somewhere like Sri Lanka to get it.

I think the present Karmapa Orgyen Trinley Dorje in the Kagyu school said he was going to change it. More at the link below.


As for other TB kinds of qualifications and status (such as 'tulku' ) its mostly male dominated.

Things are changing slowly and western women (and men) are now achieving 'lama' status and becoming teachers, often after several years of study and practice followed by the completion of 3 or more years in retreat.

However Tibetan Buddhism and the monastic system has historically always been dominated by men.

29 Jul 11, 07:11
Sadhu! to the Anila for her hard earned effort and may many more follow her footsteps...

Here's some related reading stuff...
History of the Mulasarvastivada Ordination Lineages in Tibet (http://www.berzinarchives.com/web/en/archives/study/history_buddhism/buddhism_tibet/details_tibetan_history/history_mulasarvastivada_ordination.html)
A Summary Report of the 2007 International Congress on the Women's Role in the Sangha: Bhikshuni Vinaya and Ordination Lineages (http://www.berzinarchives.com/web/x/nav/group.html_1717379581.html)

29 Aug 11, 23:23
This is really a wonderful thing and it has happened in spite of some
of the more entrenched elements in the Gelugpa lineage.
HHDL has addressed the need to move towards gender equality many times.
He's tried to direct funds to support the Anis in a variety of projects.
Old habits die hard. This one's on its way out, thankfully.