Sera Monastery is approximately 5km north of central Lhasa. It is the second biggest Gelugpa learning center. Chamchen Choeje Shakya founded the Monastery in 1419. He was an important student of Reverent Tsongkhapa, who was the most famous teacher of Tibetan Buddhism. In addition, his activities led to the formation of the Gelug school of Tibetan Buddhism.
Prior to the construction of Sera Monasery, Reverent Tsongkhapa and his foremost students had established a hermitage. It situated in the ridge above (Sera Utse). In addition, he gave instructions to Chamchen Choeje to build Sera Monastery. Moreover, there are three main colleges in Sera Monastery. The collages are with many Khangtsens (comparable to faculties of University) within each of them. The three colleges are Je collage, Mey college, and Ngakpa collage.
Historically, at its zenith, the monastic community at Sera had over 5000 monks. So, in terms of study or learning, Sera monastery is dedicated to the Gelugpa or Yellow Hat Sect, a branch of Tibetan Buddhism. The branch founded by Reverent Tsong Khapa, in the same as Drepung and Gaden, the other two important monasteries in Tibet.
Talking about what can be seen inside, apart from the usual statue of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas as well as Dharma protector. Furthermore, we can see a unique meditational deity. It called Hayagriva or the “horse-headed” deity and a Kilaya dagger which are the principal deity of Sera monastery. Followers consider it very holy. So, the locals like to come specially to receive its blessings. Because they believe this deity can cure mental disease and clear obstructions. Another interesting thing we can watch here is the debate courtyard. Monks debate on profound Buddhist philosophy or logic in the courtyard. Sera Monastery is an important learning method in Tibetan Buddhist monastery.
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