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Gelongma (feminine term) (wylie: dge slong ma) or Gelong (masculine term) is the Tibetan word for a fully ordained monastic observing the entire vinaya. While the exact number of vows observed varies from one ordination lineage to another, generally the female monastic observes 360 vows while the male monastic observes 265.

Getsul and Getsulma (Tib <dge tshul>) (Skt <sramanera>) is the novice ordination, a preparation monastic level prior to Gelongma. Novices, both male and female, adhere to twenty-five main vows. A lay person or child monk too young to take the full vows may take the five vows called "approaching virtue" (in Tibetan genyen <dge snyan>). These five vows can be practiced as a monastic, where the genyen maintains celibacy, or as a lay practitioner, where the married genyen maintains fidelity.

Starting with the novice ordination (Tib. ge tsul) some may choose to take forty years to gradually arrive at the bhikkshu (Tib. gelong] vows of a fully ordained monk.[1][2] Others take the getsulma and gelongma vows on the same day and practice as a gelongma from the beginning, as the getsulma vows are included within the gelongma.


  1. ^ Staff. "Venerable Geshe Pal Tsering". Trashi Ganden Choepel Ling Trust. Archived from the original on November 3, 2009. Retrieved 2010-02-04. 
  2. ^ For example, the life story of Ven. Geshe Palden Tsering, born in 1934 in Zakok. He took the novice ordination at the age of eight (1942?); in 1973 he took the bhikkshu vows of a fully ordained monk.