Situated in Bylakuppe Tibetan Settlement, Mysuru District, Karnataka State, India, Serpom Thoesam Norling Monastery is a registered non–profit organization and monastic university for advanced Buddhist studies. The monastery is open to everyone, without any discrimination. And Serpom became a monastery on April 25 2008.
The monastery grants free education, meals and accommodation to hundreds of monks, since it became a full-fledge monastery. At present the population of our monk numbers in 567, excluding the monks who reside abroad. Serpom Monastery has produced Buddhist masters, philosophers, scholars, peace educators and so on; and they made greater contribution to world peace and people’s welfare. Here monks study the five main texts of the Mahayana Buddhist curriculum, which takes on average eighteen years. After having completed the studies, monks take part in Geshe Lharam studies, and those who pass the final exam are awarded the Geshe Lharam degree – the highest degree in Buddhist philosophy.
In 1959, after the uprising in Tibet, many monks fled to India, where the Indian government kindly granted them asylum in Buxa Duar for the next eleven years. Because the climate was unhealthy for Tibetans, the Indian Government then kindly resettled the monks in Bylakuppe, Karnataka State, in 1970. There were approximately 107 monks from Sera-Mey. Pomra monastic section had forty-three monks at that time. For the monks’ residency, the Indian government allotted five acres of land, where thirty-eight houses were built; as well as five acres of land for the Sera Lachi, Sera-Jey and Sera-Mey monastic assembly halls. The Indian Government also allotted approximately one acre per monk for their livelihood, and also provided oxes, cows and tractors to the monasteries. The cows given to Sera-Mey monastery provided twelve liters of milk every morning. The jungle was cut down with bulldozers, and the wood were used to make furniture. With assorted tools, the monks removed roots and cleared rocks in order to fertilize the land. Finally tractors ploughed the land to turn it into fields. Monks labored daily in the construction of the houses and the planting of corn in the fields. Day and night the field was guarded against pigs and elephants. The harvest took four months. The very first year, the monastery had a good harvest — each plant produced three giant corn cobs. Tibetans who visit the monastery returned with corn as a souvenir.
The Indian government did something that no other country did – they gave Tibetans asylum, houses, land, liberty and a conducive environment for preserving their culture. We are extremely grateful to India, whose kindness is engraved in our hearts forever. One of our daily prayers is for the Great Nation India to triumph and prosper, and for its people to enjoy peace and prosperity.
Sera-Mey monastery was built in 1978, together with Phabongkha Labdrang, the chamber of the great Master Je Phabongkhapa (1878-1941). Sera-Mey had 16 monastic sections. One of them was Pomra monastic section which housed majority monks of Sera-Mey monastery. Pomra had forty-three monks from Tibet. For the Pomra’s assembly hall, monks built a house with a tiled roof. In the beginning of the 1970s, young Tibetan monks from throughout India and Nepal started to join Pomra monastic section and increased to over 85 monks. Thus senior monks built a concrete house for a new assembly hall in 1979. For monk’s residency, Pomra build houses in two rows in 1988. With each passing year the number of monks grew, the assembly hall was no longer able to accommodate all the monks during prayers and pujas. Thus another assembly hall was built in 1991; it was inaugurated on October 27, 1992. The supreme master and great scholar Geshe Yeshi Wangchuk (1928-1997) presided over the opening ceremony, with Kyabje Pabongkha Choktrul Rinpoche; Honorable Ku-ngo Palden-la, the manager of Trijang Labdrang; representatives of Sera Lachi and Gelugpa monasteries; the Chairman of Dhokham Chushi Gandrug and so on. Over three hundred guests attended the Inauguration Ceremony. On that occasion Geshe Yeshi Rinpoche composed the auspicious verse as follows: May the sun, moon and stars -emanations of Dharma practitioners – be radiated In the face of the open sky of the primordial pure mind! May the fruits ripen in the Fields of Merit and Commitment! May the spirit of victory over evils be united and firmed!
Because of the continued growth of monks, we began the construction of the present new assembly hall in March of 2005.
The discrimination on the ground of our religious faith in Lord Dorje Shugden ensued the seperation, and thereby established Serpom Monastery where hundreds of monks at present study and practice Buddhism and Buddhist philosophy.
In front of a hill like a sleeping elephant lied a monastery known as Sera monastery, which was founded by Jamchen Choeje Shakya Yeshi in 1419. It is called Sera because the Sewa tree (probably a yellow rose) surrounded the area as a fence (Ra). Prior to the existence of the monastery, Lord Tsongkhapa gave teachings to many disciples. During his composition of the exposition to the Fundamental Wisdom of the Middle Way (Skrt:prajňāmūla), he developed a vision that Sixteen Emptiness -the Perfection of Wisdom Sutra (Skrt: Prajňāpāramitā) – and so on rained down in the form of AH letters. A great seat for scholars in middle way philosophy would emerge in this place, according to Lord Tsongkhapa’s prediction. Lord Tsongkhapa asked Jamchen Choeje to build a monastery. With the patronage of Namkha Sangpo, Jamchen Choeje built Sera Thekchen Ling Monastery, which comprised of two monasteries: Sera-Mey and Sera-Jey. In 1421 Kunchen Jangchup Bhumpa, a disciple of Lord Tsonkghapa, built Sera-Mey Monastery. The monastery consisted of 16 monastic sections, including Pomra.