Sera monastery is one of the ‘great three’ Gelukpa (the lineage of the Dalai lama) monastic universities of Tibet, located just north of Lhasa. The other two are Ganden and Drepung monasteries.
The origin of the name ‘Sera’ is attributed to the fact that the site where the monastery was built was surrounded by wild roses in bloom. (se ra in Tibetan language)
During the 1959 revolt in Lhasa, Sera monastery suffered severe damage, with its colleges destroyed and hundreds of monks killed by the Chinese invader. Sera was one of the strongest pockets of resistance against the Chinese. After the Dalai Lama took asylum in India, many of the monks of the Sera monastery who survived the attack moved to Bylakuppe in Mysore, India.
The Sera monastery in Tibet and its counterpart in India are known for their energetic monk debates on the Buddha’s teachings. Sera monastery developed over the centuries as a renowned place of learning, training hundreds of scholars, many of whom have attained fame in the Buddhist nations.