Study is a great equalizer. In study there is no discrimination by gender, race, nationality, age or ordination, all that matters is if you have studied the topic enough to have understood it or not. Differently to common beliefs, study is also fu9. You can see it when you watch the monks and nuns debating. There is a lot of laughter and bonding on the way to insights.
I wish that people understood the value of study also to avoid the sectarianism. When study is not the focus, when ignorance is stronger, it is more likely to worship external appearances such as fame, wealth, titles and similar, and to develop sectarian attitudes, such placing one’s own teacher, tradition or monastery above others. Respect and appreciation of our sources of dharma are wonderful. Not because of external factors, which can be deceiving, but because of opportunity to better comprehend the Buddha’s doctrine and with each layer of comprehension transform our perception of reality a little bit more. Contrary to common belief, study is not mere intellectualism, it is a means that gives us clarity about what to pursue and what to abandon. It cuts through appearances.
Study is a useful antidote against sectarian attitudes and opens the door to equally because it is focused on pursuing the truth, not politics or emotions. Great example are Tibetan monasteries. As Gelugpa scholars have preserved the precise meaning of the teachings and are trained to know various schools of thought very well, it is very common that monasteries of other Tibetan schools call Gelugpa scholars to clarify some scriptures. There is no sectarianism or politics in it, just pursue for full comprehension of the Buddha’s path. The Buddha has said.
By water, the Buddhas cannot wash away non-virtue,
They cannot wipe away the anger and suffering of others by hand,
They cannot transfer their own comprehension to others,
They teach liberation by showing the truth of the nature of reality.