If you travel to Tibet, you cannot miss Sera Monastery debate. As one of the Three Great Monasteries in Lhasa, Sera Monastery attracts numerous visitors for the famous monks’ debate. In order to give you more details, here I share my journey story with you.


Before Sera Monastery Debate

On one August afternoon, I went Sera Monastery to explore the mystery of the debate. The monastery is not far from Lhasa, just 3km from the northern suburb from the city. So it is very convenient to get there. Before the start of the debate, I spent some time wandering around the monastery. There are many valuable cultural relics and artifacts in the monastery.


During Sera Monastery Debate

After 3pm, the Sera Monastery debate began. It happened in the debate courtyard and there are many ancient trees there. The sunlight was shining through the leaves and some monks came. They looked very handsome. Some of them were sitting on the ground and meditating. And some of them were teasing with each other. There are two ways of debate. One kind is debate between two monks: one askes, and the other answers. Another kind is one monk to many monks debate. During the process, other questioning monks can pat the shoulders of the answering monk. And they can even clap and make other postures. So, it was fun looking such young monks playing and studying together.


Sera Monastery Debate
Sera Monastery Debate


Origin of Monks’ Debate

Debating Buddhist scriptures originated from 792 when Trisong Detsen invited some eminent monks from India including Guru Rinpoche for promoting Buddhism. At that time, there were some monks from hinterland of China in Tibet as well. Thus, Indian monks and Han monks had a fierce debate about Buddhism. And that was the origin of debating among monks.


If you are interested in viewing the special debate in Sera Monastery, please join in our 1 Day Sera, Drepung Monastery Group Tour. Our Tibetan tour guide will tell you more Buddhist stories during the tour.

For more Tibet journey stories or Tibet attractions, you can follow our Tibet Travel Blog. And we will update every day!

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Helen Jiao