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Lhasa Sera Monastery

Lhasa Sera Monastery

As the Key Cultural Relic under the State-level Protection, the Sera Monastery has a long history, built originally in 1419 and about 3,000 meters north of Lhasa City. The origin of the name “Sera” is not certain, but it may derive from the fact that the original site was surrounded by “Wild Roses” (se ra in Tibetan).

Sera Monastery is one of the “great three” Gelukpa university monasteries of Tibet. The other two are Gadan Monastery amd Drepung Monastery. Sera Monastery houses more than 5,000 monks in 1959 and consists of several colleges: Sera Mey Dratsang, built in 1419, gives basic instruction to the monks; Sera Jey Dratsang, built in 1435, was the largest and was reserved for wandering monks, especially Mongol monks; Ngagpa Dratsang, built in 1559, was a school for the teaching of the Gelukpa tantras.

Lhasa Sera Monastery The tsokchen is Sera's largest building and the administrative center of the monastery. Built in 1710, the central assembly hall houses a statue of Sakya Yeshe, the founder of Sera, flanked by sculptures of the Fifth and Thirteenth Dalai Lamas . To the rear of the central assembly hall are four floors, each filled with chapels dedicated to various gods as well as the monks' quarters.

Sera Me Tratsang, built in 1419 by Sakya Yeshe, specializes in teaching novices the fundamental precepts of Buddhism. Its assembly hall is famed for a copper sculpture of Sakyamuni (Historical Buddha) as well as for murals adorning the numerous chapels. Ngagpa Tratsang was also built in 1419 by Sakya Yeshe and is the monastery's Tantric college. Sera Je Tratsang is the monastery's largest college and was responsible for the instruction of itinerant monks from outside the region. The famous debating courtyard is located with this tratsang.

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