Thinley Namgay

After over 400 years, the Central Monastic Body (CMB) has finally received explicit written guidelines delineating the responsibilities for five different Lopens and all monastic institutions under the CMB.

While fulfilling its duties since the era of Zhabdrung Rinpoche, the CMB has lacked a tangible written document to streamline its responsibilities for the benefit of the people and the Buddha Dharma.

To rectify this, the comprehensive guideline for the CMB, titled “Chakgoen Toenpai Yoednang”, was launched on November 28 in Thimphu. The launch took place in the presence of all five Lopens and heads of religious institutions nationwide. 

Thukten Jamtsho, Media and ICT Officer at the CMB, emphasised the timeliness and significance of this guideline, attributing it to the vision of the current 70th Je Khenpo, His Holiness Trulku Jigme Chhoeda.  

“This guideline is a testament to Je Khenpo’s desire for reform in the CMB, aligning with the 21st-century context and the ongoing major transformations in the country,” stated Thukten Jamtsho. 

He highlighted specific responsibilities outlined for five Lopens and five secretaries, noting that such initiatives would enhance citizen services, ensuring efficiency and timeliness while complementing the country’s ongoing transformations.

Over the years, the Je Khenpo has introduced several changes to the CMB, including the institution of the title Tsugla Lopen to facilitate inclusive studies for monks and nuns.  

Additionally, the Je Khenpo appointed five secretaries under five Lopens and modified the titles of Yangbi Lopen to Leytshog Lopen and Drabi Lopen to Tshogki Lopen, each with renewed responsibilities.  

Presently, approximately 17,000 monks and nuns are under the purview of the CMB.