Westerners Seeking Geshe Degree

The following article is from the Winter, 1992 issue of the Snow Lion Newsletter and is for historical reference only. You can see this in context of the original newsletter here.

Gomang College of Drepung Monastic University , Tibetan Buddhism

Study At Drepung Monastery

Gomang College of Drepung Monastic University in south India now provides a special opportunity for Western monks to undertake traditional studies in Buddhist philosophy leading to the degree of geshe.

In accordance with the advice from the Dalai Lama (see Dreloma XVIII-XIX), a separate hostel or khatigtsen has been established with the particular needs of Westerners in mind. It is called Thosam Khangtsen.

The aims of Thosam Khangtsen are to provide facilities for Western monks to become geshes, translators and teachers, and thus establish and continue the tradition of Gelugpa monasticism and scholarship in Western countries. It also hopes to provide accommodation and library services to visiting lay scholars.

Western monks at Drepung, like other monks, will be expected to attend all classes and debates, but exemption from pujas and ceremonies would be granted to those who wish to undertake a more accelerated course of studies and complete the course in ten or twelve years.

Among the various colleges of Sera, Gaden and Drepung, Gomang college is unique in studying the textbook literature composed by The Omniscient Jamyang Shedpa. For this reason the college has strong historical ties with monks from other countries such as Mongolia and Siberia who have chosen primarily to enter Gomang.

The environment for learning Tibetan language and studying philosophy at Gomang is ideal, with many highly qualified geshes who will give special attention to Western students. The cost of living is very low and the climate on the Deccan plateau at 500 m above sea level is pleasant all year round.

Australian monk Lobsang Tsultrim was previously a contact person for interested western students.

Those wishing to know more about Thosam Khangtsen, please click here for link to contact page.

For more information on institutes for Buddhist Studies:

Central Institute of Higher Tibetan Studies (CIHTS): Located in Sarnath, Varanasi.

Drepung Gomang Monastery: Known as the second Nalanda University in Tibet. Located in Uttar kannada, Karnataka.

 

Honorable Mention:

"Professor Geshe Yeshe Thabkhe was born in Lhokha, Central Tibet and became a monk of Drepung Loseling at the age of 13. He excelled in his studies, and eventually received his Rabjamba Degree in 1958. After escaping into India he served as a lecturer at the school of Buddhist Philosophy in Leh, Ladakh and in 1967 was awarded the Geshe Lharam, the highest academic degree offered in the Geluk School of Tibetan Buddhism at Drepung Monastic University. He served as a lecturer at Sanskrit University in Sarnath and is currently a professor of Mool Shastra (Indian Tradition of Buddhist Philosophy) at the Central Institute of Higher Tibetan Studies, the only Tibetan university in India. Professor Thabkhe is regarded as one of the most eminent scholars of both the Madhyamaka tradition and the Indian Buddhist studies. His monumental works include translation of 'The Essence of Good Explanation of Definitive & Interpretable Meanings (Lek-Shey Nying-Po)' by Tsong Kha Pa into Hindi, as well as 'A Commentary on the Rice Seedlings (Salistamba) Sutra' by Vasubhandu. As one of the greatest learned scholars of Drepung Loseling Monastery he facilitated the completion of numerous research works including a complete translation of Lama Tsong-kha-pa’s Lam rim chen mo 'Great Treatise on the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment'."

-http://www.drepung.org

For more information:

H.H. the Fourteenth Dalai LamaHis Holiness the Fourteenth Dalai Lama is considered the foremost Buddhist leader of our time. The exiled spiritual head of the Tibetan people, he is a Nobel Peace Laureate, a Congressional Gold Medal recipient, and a remarkable teacher and scholar who has authored over one hundred books.

B. Alan WallaceB. Alan Wallace has authored, translated, edited, and contributed to more than forty books on Tibetan Buddhism, science, and culture. With fourteen years as a Buddhist monk, he earned a BA in physics and the philosophy of science and then a PhD in religious studies.
Jeffrey HopkinsJeffrey Hopkins, PhD, served for a decade as the interpreter for the Dalai Lama. A Buddhist scholar and the author of more than thirty-five books, he is Professor Emeritus at the University of Virginia, where he founded the largest academic program in Tibetan Buddhist studies in the West.

Jose CabezonJose Ignacio Cabezon is the Fourteenth Dalai Lama Professor of Tibetan Buddhism and Cultural Studies at the University of California Santa Barbara. Formerly a Buddhist monk at Sera Monastery in South India, Professor Cabezón has authored a number of works on Tibetan literature, Buddhist philosophy, and sexuality.

Matthieu RicardMatthieu Ricard is a Buddhist monk who had a promising career in cellular genetics before leaving France to study Buddhism in the Himalayas thirty-seven years ago. He is a best-selling author, translator, and photographer, and an active participant in current scientific research on the effects of meditation on the brain.

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