Panoramas of Sera Monastery in Tibet
Jé Assembly Hall
(byes 'du khang)
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Images of Jé Assembly Hall
THL Reference Number: s042
College Affiliation: Jé (byes)
Regional House Affiliation: none
The byes college as an institution was founded by kun mkhyen blo gros rin chen seng ge (15th century), a direct disciple of Tsong kha pa. By the time kun mkhyen pa arrived at se ra, two colleges -- rgya and brom stengs -- had already merged into a third college, stod. After his arrival, stod merged into byes college (lit. "Traveler's" or "Visitor's" college, because kun mkhyen pa arrived at se ra with 100 of his followers as travelers or visitors from 'bras spungs monastery). Oral tradition has it that one of the small storerooms to the west of the assembly hall was the original residence of kun mkhyen pa and his disciples when they first arrived at se ra.
It was not until two centuries later that this large temple, the byes college assembly hall, was built by the ruler pho lha nas mi dbang bsod nams stobs rgyal (1689-1747). Tradition has it that he and his son, 'gyur med rnam rgyal (fl. 18th century) competed with each other for the privilege of building the college assembly hall. The father won, and his son was reduced to having to sponsor the building of another important (though lesser) structure at se ra, the har gdong khang tshan.
The most famous site within the Byes Assembly Hall is undoubtedly the Hayagriva Chapel (rta mgrin khang), where the byes college tutelary deity (yi dam) resides in a golden altar. This is extremely popular with pilgrims.
Adjacent to the byes College Assembly Hall are a number of buildings and rooms -- kitchens, and storage rooms -- that belong to it.