Saturday, April 13, 2013 | By: CHIMI DORJI

Field trip to Tango


We have a course called ‘Tsema’ which is generally meant for Monks who are pursuing Buddhist Studies. It’s one of the teachings of Buddha which is considered to be one of the most important as well as toughest courses among others. Its’ etymology stands that “it's science of syllogism, logic and philosophy”. According to Gyelse Rinpoche at Tango so called Tsema is a Buddhist science to analyze and differentiate truth is truth and false is false and accordingly follow the truth and avoid the false. The monks being the religious persons are supposed to be committing only good things and abstain from committing harmful things, and to do this first they should know which is good and which is bad and for analyzing and differentiating such things they need the knowledge of Tsema which is also the religious purpose of having propounded  and learning Tsema. But in reality when we say Tsema most of people take it as a debate. Actually debate is just practical part of Tsema. Alike science with experiments, in Tsema also everything is based on proof. Like truth supported by justice to ensure true justice, in Tsema statement should be supported by proof which is conclusive proof or reason. To detect whether the proof is conclusive or not, there are certain conditions and ways and if those conditions and ways are met then such statements is considered as perfect statement.  
Unlike Monks, we the legal professionals have to study to build up our analytical skills as our profession is all about justifying, arguing, reasoning, scrutinizing, etc. Since our lecturer himself declared that he understood Tsema only after studying several times I still doubt how far we can grasp in just six months or else does it really can build up such analytical skills? I really doubt where can those conditions of Tsema for analyzing the proof, reasons, whatever be fit in the court proceedings. I think Monks up there had reason to taken aback as well as appreciate when we told them we are studying Tsema at RIM. For this purpose just to get more exposure on this course and to watch monks’ debate, led by our Tsema Lecture, today we had a trip to College of Buddhist Studies, Tango.
Everyone in the class was supposed to go but only 29 of us could make it and rest 11 could not make it. Unlike Chari Monastery, in Tango there is just one block but inside so many important and historic Nangtens. It was fortunate for all of us to visit there and seen all of it. We were blessed to have chaired the debate by HH Gyelse Rinpoche himself.  We have also seen him participating and debating with Monks. Watching the way they debate and their eloquence in debating and responses and hardly grasping even their topic of the debates we felt we have been just scratching on basics for all these three months. Above all, HH Gyelse Rincpoche was kind enough to even give a talk on the importance of TSEMA. He also gave us golden words of advice on various topics. Most importantly he gave us Jamyang Sel Drab Lung. 
On other front what to say their hospitality, really nice. They have dinning hall like our altar filled with Rinpoches’ portraits. Apart from academic trip we also felt like a dry picnic. In groups who would not enjoy!, Undoubtedly everyone does. Day scholars bought pack lunch for boarders and we really enjoyed their lunch in different dishes from different persons. While I thank each and every one up there for their arrangement for us and Rinpoche for his golden words, and our day scholar friends for their pack lunch, I’m looking forward to so many trips ahead, this is just a beginning ….

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