Serpom Monastery’s School Serpom Monastery’s School
The Serpom School opened its doors in the year 2009. Modelled on the Tibetan Buddhist educational system with an emphasis on debate, the students... Serpom Monastery’s School

Serpom Thoesam Norling Monastery in the Bylakuppe Tibetan Settlement of Mysore, India was formerly Pomra Khangtsen of Sera Mey Monastery. Established as a monastic university in its own right in 2008, Serpom Monastery is an institution for advanced Buddhist education based on the pure tradition and lineage of Lama Tsongkhapa. As is the tradition of the Gelugpas, Serpom Monastery has its own pantheon of Dharma Protectors, of which Dorje Shugden, the uncommon Dharma Protector, is one.

Serpom Monastery's new school

Serpom Monastery’s new school

The Serpom School opened its doors in the year 2009. Modelled on the Tibetan Buddhist educational system with an emphasis on debate, the students have regular classes in the mornings, with debate sessions held twice a day in the mornings and evenings. It has been proven over the centuries that intensive debate cultivates a good memory, concise understanding of the subject matter and clarity of thought, not to mention the need to be able to think on the move.

Young Serpom monks in class

Young Serpom monks in class

The young monks in Serpom School study a range of traditional topics including Tibetan language, Tibetan grammar, Tibetan handwriting, mathematics and science. Modern additions to the traditional school curriculum include English and Chinese language classes, which will equip the young monks with the necessary skills to integrate into modern society and thus be better able to preserve and propitiate the pure lineage and teachings of Lama Tsongkhapa and Dharma Protector Dorje Shugden.

The young monks also learn Mandarin, a language which will be useful when they are older

The young monks also learn Mandarin, a language which will be useful when they are older

Serpom School endeavours to provide textbooks and reference books for the young monks, which is made possible through the kind generosity of sponsors from around the world who believe in supporting the monastic education system. In this way, the students do not have to be burdened with finding resources for basic academic supplies but instead can concentrate on their education. Modern day necessities such as computers are also much needed to equip the young monks with computer know-how and digital skills, which are useful for digitising rare and precious Tibetan texts for easy preservation and dissemination.

Educational materials are much needed to aid the young monks in their studies

Educational materials are much needed to aid the young monks in their studies

The knowledge gained from Serpom School will serve these young monks well when they advance to the study of the five main texts: Valid Cognition, Perfection of Wisdom, Middle Way, Monastic Discipline, and Treasure of Knowledge.

It takes 18 years to complete the monastic education, which culminates in the Geshe classes. 14 years are spent studying the five main texts and four years for the Geshe classes. Those who graduate with top honours are granted the Geshe Lharampa title, the highest degree in Buddhist philosophy equivalent to a doctorate (Ph.D.).

The monastery emphasises an early start to developing knowledge

The monastery emphasises an early start to developing knowledge

Discipline is an important component in the young monks' education

Discipline is an important component in the young monks’ education

The monks are also taught to care for the monastery from a young age

The monks are also taught to care for the monastery from a young age

As they complete each class, the young monks receive a certificate from the Head of Serpom School

As they complete each class, the young monks receive a certificate from the Head of Serpom School

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  • Fong

    Posted on October 16, 2016 #1 Author

    So nice to see the young monks going about daily life in a monastic school. They are the future of dharma. Looks like any ordinary school except that they wear robes. A combination of methods to teach the young monks with use of traditional Tibetan books and the modern laptop to bring them into the 21st century.

    Thank you for showing us glimpse into the scholastic life of the future of Tibetan Buddhism.

    Reply

  • Jacinta Goh

    Posted on May 3, 2018 #2 Author

    The education, settings, the systems are very much similar to those education systems that we have in any part of the world. However, this one is geared towards Buddhism and it takes a lifetime or even lifetimes to complete. I’m not sure if I can subject myself to this kind of environment but the little voices in me chanting “yes, yes, yes”and a little happiness ensued thereafter. 😅

    Reply