A Study of Sera Monastery

Collaborative Group

Professor José Ignacio Cabezón, Dr. Penpa Dorjee


Restoration Department


Sera Monastery was one of Tibet's premier monastic educational institutions and the second largest monastery in the world. Its program of studies was known throughout Asia, attracting students from as far away as Mongolia and Japan. Sera also produced some of the most important saints, scholars, and political leaders in Tibetan history. We propose to write a book-length study of the monastery—the first of its kind in a Western language. The book is divided into two parts. Part One is organized thematically: introducing Buddhist monasticism, its development in India and Tibet, and Sera's programs of study and ritual. Part Two is a narrative history of the Sera monastery from its founding up to the present, both in Tibet and in the Indian diaspora.