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Sera Monastery, a story of the Buddhist Doctrine Debating

Post Time: Sep 19 2011 By Sophie Huang

Tibet is an unspoiled mysterious land that attracts people from all over the world. They come here to explore the mighty snow mountains, crystal clear lakes and high land scenery, and also, to experience the unique character of the spectacular monasteries.

With service of Top China Travel Agency, we had chance to get touch with this misterous monastery closely. During the visiting to a monastery, one may feel something invisible emitted, right from the delicate constructions, paintings and carvings, and, from those devout followers, maybe he/she just sense the religious inner connotation of the very palace. Thus for people who are interested in Tibetan Buddhism culture, it is a good way to explore the mysterious of the very land. If possible, to see the Debating on Buddhist Doctrines is highly recommended.
In Tibet, Buddhism Debating is a required practice course, a way of logical inference bases on Sunyavada System. Its history can be dated back to Tang Dynasty. At the year of 792, two Indian eminent monks came to Tibet to promote Buddhism and accepted the challenge from local monks. To express and promote their own understanding of the Buddhist Doctrines, they launched a debating and since then, such “war of words” passed down and became a very attractive activity for people from afar.  
As the participants of the debating required a certain knowledge and understanding of Buddhist Doctrines, the time-honored Sera Monastery is the best choice. Everyday in the afternoon, monks with a center learning of Buddhism will come to the courtyard of debating to practice their skill, two men as a team or one to many.

The starting time of Buddhist Debating is 15:00pm everyday, before that, you can have a short exploration in this monastery.

Sera Monastery, as one of the three grand monasteries in Lhasa, along with Gandan Monastery and Drepung Monastery, is famous for its copper Buddhist Statue, Religious Painting and Buddhism Debating, etc. It lies on the piedmont of Mt. Selawuzi, on the foot of it you can find lots of wild rose overgrew, thus “Wild Rose Monastery” is a romantic nickname of this monastery.
No wild roses here, but one can feel the peaceful atmosphere emitted from the air.
Get closer to the monastery, you may first see a high white pagoda standing on the center of the square, on the foot of the pagoda, there are several prayer wheels.

The whole construction mainly consists of the Coqen Hall, the Dratsang (place for studying) and the Kangcun (residence), etc. The Hayagriva Statue in Coqen Hall is the most popular attraction for tourists, but it has a special religious meaning for local followers.
        People queued for visiting the Coqen Hall.                            Those devout followers

At three o’ clock, two young monks blew their long copper horns, which meant the debating is ready.

Generally speaking, the debating opened between two persons who have different comprehensives of the doctrines. Though it called the “war of words”, to well express their ideas, monks will play many gestures.
Raise his arm then swing downward hardly, means remove the ignorance with the sword of Manjusri Buddisattva; press their palm downward, means crush the angry thoughts; clap one’s hands to urge the other party to make the response, etc.
Pull the string of Buddha beads just means one can fight against the opponent with the help of the Buddha.


                                     Joyance                                                          Unsophisticated smile
Their gestures were, how to say, dramatic, fierce but really attractive, like made a hand-dancing. Even though you could not understand their words, you could still feel their strong emotion. The debating is just like an incredible living show, reveal a totally different spiritual world to us.

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Sophie Huang

Sophie Huang

Position:Sales Manager

Life without friend is death without a witness, while traveling is a good way to make friends. Hence I love traveling. Don't you find that you are having less and less friends while you are focusing on your work? If so, come on, join us! We are Top China Travel, providing you a tailor-made tour to release yourself, enjoy marvelous scenery, experience different culture and custom and meet people.

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