(TibetanReview.net, Feb06’16) – The 17th Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje is to establish a monastic college for Buddhist women as part of his ongoing efforts to educate and empower female Buddhist practitioners from the Himalayan region, reported lionsroar.com Feb 4. The head of the Karma Kagyu order of Tibetan Buddhism has announced his plan during the 3rd Arya Kshema Winter Dharma Gathering in Bodhgaya, an annual three-week event that he established in 2013.
The report said the Karmapa also outlined the rigorous scholarly education that will be offered to nuns in the school of Tibetan Buddhism that he heads. The backbone of the curriculum will be five major Indian philosophical treatises (shastras), which are based on a series of rare commentarial texts that had recently been rediscovered in his Dharma lineage. The planned monastic college will offer educational opportunities to laywomen as well as to Buddhist nuns. It was not clear where the college will be set up.
Over 400 nuns from nunneries across the Himalayas were reported to have attended the Dharma gathering. Besides, nearly a thousand people were reported to have attended his daily Dharma discourses.
The 17th Karmapa escaped from Chinese ruled Tibet in the winter of 1999-2000 and reside near Dharamshala. He previously created an eco-monastic movement, with over 55 monasteries across the Himalayan region acting as centers of green activism. He also recently announced plans to establish full ordination for qualified female practitioners.