Sera Monastery

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Publish Time: 2016-04-01 Author: From: China Tibet Online

At the foot of the Wuze Hill in Sera to the north of Lhasa, the Sera Monastery is one of the three great monasteries in Lhasa and one of the six great monasteries of the Gelug Sect of Buddhism in Tibet. It was built by one of the disciples of Tsongkhapa in 1419. On the 27th of the 12th month of the Tibetan calendar, the monastery holds the grand Sera Bungqin Festival, which attracts crowds of Buddhists and others.

Sera is famous for its Buddhist scripture debates, which monks engage in ritually as part of their monastic education . Some sit cross-legged under the trees, while others run from group to group giving vigorous hand-claps to end a statement or make a point. Teachers and dignitaries sit on the raised tiers when an exam takes place.

Sera in Tibetan means Wild Rose Garden since an opulent wild rose garden once grew around it. According to legend, one dayTsongkhapa and his two disciples were engaged in religious cultivation. They heard a horse whinnying underground while they were taking a walk in the rose garden. A statue of Hynagriva (a horse-headed demon-god) was then dug out from underneath them.Thus, Tsongkhapa decided to build the monastery to enshrine Hynagriva. However, an alternate version of these events details that in 1414, Jamchen Chojey (or Sakya Yeshe), one of Tsongkhapa's disciples, on behalf of Tsongkhapa, visited Emperor Chengzu, who granted him the title of Dharma King of Great Mercy and gave him sutras and a set of sandalwood Arhats. In order to preserve these treasures, Tsongkhapa suggested Jamchen Chojey build a monastery to house them. This lead to the creation of the Sera monastery in 1419.

Admission is 45 yuan. 

Open hours 9:00--16:00.

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