Sera Monastery

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Panoramas of Sera Monastery in Tibet

J Assembly Hall
(byes du khang)

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Images of J Assembly Hall

THL Reference Number: s042

College Affiliation: J (byes)

Regional House Affiliation: none

J College (grwa tshang byes) as an institution was founded by Knkhyen Lodr Rinchen Sengg (kun mkhyen blo gros rin chen seng ge, fifteenth century), a direct disciple of Tsongkhapa (tsong kha pa). By the time Knkhyenpa (kun mkhyen pa) arrived at Sera (se ra), two colleges Gya (rgya) and Dromteng (brom stengs) had already merged into a third college, T (stod). After his arrival, T merged into J College (lit. Travelers or Visitors College, because Knkhyenpa arrived at Sera with one hundred of his followers as travelers or visitors from Drepung [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 Knkhyenpa and his disciples when they first arrived at Sera.

It was not until two centuries later that this large temple, the J College Assembly Hall, was built by the ruler Polhan Miwang Snam Topgyel (pho lha nas mi dbang bsod nams stobs rgyal, 1689-1747). Tradition has it that he and his son, Gyurm Namgyel (gyur med rnam rgyal, fl. eighteenth 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 Sera, the Hamdong Regional House (har gdong khang tshan).

The most famous site within the J Assembly Hall is undoubtedly the Hayagr?va Chapel (rta mgrin khang), where the J College tutelary deity (yi dam) resides in a golden altar. This is extremely popular with pilgrims.

Adjacent to the J College Assembly Hall are a number of buildings and rooms kitchens, and storage rooms that belong to it.


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