Rinzin Wangchuk

Eighteen goenzin dratshangs (monastic institutions) across the country now have uniform rules, plans and projects of the Zhung Dratshang with the adoption of the new Goenzin Dratshang Tsa-Thrim (Charter) 2019.

The Charter with curriculum and guidelines was launched by His Holiness the Je Khenpo at his residence in Tashichhodzong yesterday.

The ceremony, which is a part of the 400 years of the Zhung Dratshang establishment celebrations, was attended by Zhung Dratshang’s Yonten Lopon, the prime minister, the minsters for finance and education, the vice-chancellor of RUB and principals of Goenzin Dratshangs.

Explaining the establishment of Goenzin Dratshangs, His Holiness said that the Charter is a prerequisite for the monastic institutions for uniformity of the rules, plans and projects of the Zhung Dratshang with the changing times.

“Unlike monastic schools (Gedun Lobdra), Shedra and colleges, the monks enrolled in Goenzin Dratshangs will receive wholesome education, including how to practice and perform religious activities and modern education,” His Holiness said. “These institutes were established in the remote places across the country where people don’t have access to the service of monastic institutions.”

According to His Holiness, these institutes are meant for unreached members of the community, to protect and preserve the sacred relics, and to promote Buddha Dharma. “Each Goenzin Dratshang can enrol up to 30 monks. However, as the institute develops with adequate resources and benefitting the people, there will be no restriction in terms of enrolment of students,” His Holiness said.

His Holiness said that the monks who enrol in the goenzin dratshang would be brought up, educated from pre-primary to university level, meditate and spend their entire lives in the same institute.

Established in 2014, there are 18 goenzin dratshangs in the country today. The establishment of goenzin dratshangs was conceptualised coinciding with the coronation of His Majesty The King in 2008.