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Sera Monastery

Sera was smaller than Drepung, with 7,000 monks, but very rich and comparable in power.
Sera Monastery, Lhasa attraction Sera Monastery, one of the Three Great Monasteries of Gelugpa, stands at the foot of Sera Utse Mountain, in the northern suburb of Lhasa. There are two traditions as to why the monastery was named Sera. One is that a fierce hailstorm occurred when the monastery was founded; the other is that a large tract of wild roses bloomed where the monastery now stands. Since both the words 'hail' and 'wild roses' are 'sera' in Tibetan, the monastery was named Sera.  
In 1414, one of Tsong Khapa's disciples, Sakya Yeshe, on behalf of Tsong Khapa, had an audience with the Emperor Chengzhu of the Ming Dynasty (1368 - 1644). The Emperor granted him the title of Dharma King of Great Mercy and also granted him an imperial mandate together with sutras, Buddhist statues and objects, gold, silver, silks and satins. In 1419, in order to house these Buddhist treasures, Sakya Yeshe built the Sera Monastery, which now includes Coqen Hall, the main assembly hall; three Zhacangs (Buddhist colleges) and twenty-nine Khangtsens or monk dormitores. The monastery covers an area of over 110, 000 square meters (27 acres).

Lhasa-Sera Monastery

The holiest hall in Sera Monastery is the hall consecrating the statue of Hynagriva (horse-headed god), the major guardian god in the monastery. There is a legend of this statue. It is said that one day Tsong Khapa and his two disciples were walking in the woods, when suddenly they heard a horse neighing from underground. They hastened to dig onto the ground and found a statue of Hynagriva. They then built a hall to enshrine the statue. Hynagriva is one of the appearances of Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva that Tibetan people worship and pray to for blessings. On their knees supplicants touch the platform of the statue with their foreheads.   The Sera Monastery debating class intrigues tourist. Around 15:00 every day, all monks in Sera Monastery assemble in their debating yard to argue their knowledge of Buddhism. The heated discussions, hand gestures and body movements make the class fascinating to watch.
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