Debate courtyard in a monastic university like Sera is an important place where students study all the five major classics through critical debate. With logical reasoning as the governing rule, students practice the art of debate by questioning one another. This method of monastic debate is considered one of the best means of gaining a profound understanding by establishing the realities of things. As such, debate courtyard is one of the most important places of learning for the monk students of major Tibetan monastic seats.

In the past – prior to 1959 – Sera Mey had two debate courtyards: the upper and the lower. Many past great practitioners practiced debates in them. Teachings were also given by eminent masters in these debate courtyards; thus these are considered places of great blessing.

In exile, the tradition of debate has continued to this day. At the tent camp in Buxa [a village in West Bengal where the monks who arrived in exile in India were settled by the Indian government for some years] and at the old debate ground in front of the old monastic prayer hall, debate classes were held for many years. The present debate courtyard was constructed in 1996. It was sponsored by the late ex-abbot Khensur Rinpoche Geshe Lobsang Tharchin and his students. It has one main courtyard in the middle and two other courtyards on the sides. The main courtyard is used for both prayer gatherings before the beginning of debates and for conducting debate sessions/classes. The two courtyards on the sides are used for conducting debate. His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama blessed the compound and gave teachings there.

There was also a need of renovation as it became difficult to hold debate classes during rainy seasons. So, in the beginning of 2010, with the blessing of His Holiness and the support of the Tibetan government in exile, our ex-abbot venerable Lobsang Rabga sought help from well-wishers from the west. Our ex-abbot venerable Lobsang Jamyang and his students have contributed a lot. Venerable Woeser Rinpoche and his students have also contributed towards the renovation project, which was completed in 2011.

As the number of monks continue increase with the influx of new novice monks every year, the space at the present debate courtyard is felt small. At the same time, an open debate courtyard without much space would make it very difficult in the rainy season and when there are huge gatherings.

The new debate courtyard will have one floor on top which will have class rooms as well as a science laboratory and other class rooms. Several other rooms are to be used to accommodate monks visiting Sera for inter monastic gatherings or for Geluk examinations. Hundreds of monks from Gaden and Drepung as well as from Tashi Lhunpo and others would flock in during mass events, and these new rooms would be useful to extend our service to them. Our present abbot His Eminence Gyutoe Khensur Rinpoche Ngawang Jorden has been actively involved and taking it on his shoulder to ensure that this projects comes to a fruitful completion.

Any amount of donation for this important project would be most welcome. The donation so received would be used for the intended purpose properly. Donations could be sent to our bank account or through a cheque.

Please Supoort Us

Your help towards meeting the cost of building the new debate hall and class-rooms for Sermey Monastery will be greatly appreciated. Your generosity will ensure the survival of a great Monastic tradition and give benefit to all sentient beings.

This project is encouragement of monk students and blessed by the His Holiness the Dalai Lama, The Tibetan Administration in Exile, the Department of Religion and Cultural Affairs, and including local government in South India. Our appeal for funds led by Gyuto Khensur Geshe Ngawang Jorden, Abbot of Sermey Monastery.

Please consider giving a donation through our Bank A/C OR Cheque. If you are unable to make a contribution at this time but would like to be keep in touch with the development of the project. Please contact us!

Sera Mey Monastic University 
P.O. Bylakuppe – 571104, 
Mysore District, Karnataka State, South INDIA

Tel No: +91-8223-258207/408 
Fax No: +91-8223-258576 

NAME: Bylakuppe Branch 

BM Road, Bylakuppe -571104, 
Mysore District, (K.S) India. 
Contact No: +91-8223-254358 

Bank Account Number: 17082200003480