The Gelug Exam is widely perceived as the final stage of Buddhist study in a monastic community, especially in terms of the Sutras. Monks who has successfully passed their respected monastery’s local exam will then participate in exams for all of the related subjects from the colour class to the Vinaya class (either 1st year or 2nd year) in order to be fully eligible for this respected Geshe degree.
In Tibet, there was the Geshe Debate Test that was conducted during the Lhasa Monlam Chenmo (The Great Prayer Festival) which does close justification to the contemporary exam except for the philosophical writing test and grammatical discourse. The current Gelug Exam was founded post- Tibetan Diaspora of 1959 and later at numerous occasion, several modification have been implemented towards the tradition in order to increase the capacity of it’s scope.
The current general board of the Gelug Exam, which consisting the general supervisory staffs from the each monastic colleges; Shar Gaden and Serpom Monastery, whose responsibilities are to organise the whole scenes on time and also determining it’s venue. These board members are appointed with the further consent and mutual agreement from the both monastic colleges, with a consideration for successful continuation of the tradition, that can be joyfully savored by the coming generations in the future.
Currently the exam is 4 years of course, and held once in a year on the Yarne season. In the earlier days, it used to be 6 years of course but later decreased 2 years in the wake of the bereft segregation in 2008, which also caused a sudden fall or deficiency in the quantity of the participants. But that’s not the major case that we are worried of any more. A participant who manages to succeed consistently for these four years, will be conferred with a Geshe Lharampa Degree (Phd geshe), he then may spent a couple of years either in upper/lower Tantric University (gyu toe/gyu mey) for intensive tantric experimentation thereafter as per the Gelug tradition. But we prefer our own extraordinary Tradition.
This year’s Geluk Exam will be held at Shar Gaden with the many participants from Serpom monastery. The event will be traditionally commenced from 4th September to 17th September 2011. We wish all the participants a great success and may your wholesome deeds cause eternal tranquility amongst all beings.