12 monks reach highest Tibetan Buddhism degree

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Twelve monks passed the annual Dharma debating exam and were accredited as Geshe Lharampas — the highest academic degree of Tibetan Buddhism — at Jokhang Temple in Lhasa, on Monday, China News Service reported.

The new Geshe Lharampas are from some key monasteries in different cities and prefectures of the Tibet autonomous region.

The monks attended a weeklong preliminary examination in Lhasa's Gandan Monastery in July last year. The annual exam usually consists of sutra debate of content in the five volumes of Tibetan Buddhism teachings, along with tests focused on other cultures.

Following strict examination and assessment by the evaluation committee, Chogyal Nampal of Champaling Monastery, won first place on Monday, while Lobsang Choklang of Tashilhunpo Monastery came in second and Ngakwang Kunchen of Drepung Monastery won third.

During the award ceremony, the 12 new Geshe Lharampas were presented with five-colored silks, monk's robes and cash by Meng Xiaolin, vice-chairman of the regional government. They were also presented with degree certificates.

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