DEBATE SESSION AT KHANGTSENS IN LOSELING COLLEGE

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Throughout the year, on every Sunday, a debate session should be held in every Khangtsen. Generally during the debate sessions two monks from each Khangtsen sit as the answerers while the other monks of each Khangtsen debate with them. However, during the first Spring Religious Festival,


Geshe Lharampas must do a debate tour in all the Khangtsens as the answerers for these debate sessions. Here, the topics of debate range from the Collected Topics (Duedra) to the Five Major Buddhist texts. At the same time, during this festival, the standing debates (tsoglang literally meaning 'standing up in the assembly') take place, where, in the large monastic colleges, amidst thousands of monks, two monks stand and debate with each other. These debates are held on the Middle Way philosophy, Perfection of Wisdom, Monastic Discipline and Higher Knowledge. The answerers for the debate must first inform the Khangtsen masters and get their consent. If a student from a lower class receives consent from the Khangtsen Master to be an answerer, and if a student from a higher class or a Geshe enlists as the answerer afterward, the student from the higher class or the Geshe is given the first preference.
Just before Tibetan Losar (New Year), an overnight debate is held in each Khangtsen on the Epistemology (Pramana). In this debate the monks who have participated in the Jang Gunchoe Religious Festival debate with the monks who have not participated in the Jang Gunchoe Religious Festival. The questioner begins the debate firstly by reciting the verses of homage and the contents-outline from the Pramanavartikakarika text and then commences the syllogism or syllogistic debate. Every syllogism or syllogistic debate should commence with the same line from Manjushrinamasangiti, “The victorious banner of Dharma is completely hoisted!”
During this debate, the thangka paintings of the Six Ornaments and the Two Supreme Ones (the eight famous Indian masters) and Lama Tsongkhapa and his two disciples are displayed in all the Khangtsens. A throne for the Khenpo is also prepared. During the overnight debate, the Khenpo, the Disciplinarian and the Chabril visit each and every Khangtsen.

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