Discussing Philosophies at Sera Monastery 5 x 7 / Colored Tracy McCrackin Photography GiclŽe - Tracy McCrackin Photography

Discussing Philosophies at Sera Monastery

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The "Discussing Philosophies" is one of the best places to see in Tibet.  In the Holy City of Tibetan Buddhism, the city of Lhasa, the ancient Sera Monastery is the most renowned debating monastery in the world.  Dedicated to the Gelugpa school, it is one of Three Great Tibetan Buddhist monasteries. Tibetan monasteries have long been, and continue to be, a focal point of Tibetan culture and society. Schools, colleges, hospitals, and markets were all located in monasteries, which served as religious and educational hubs. For certain young people even today, the monks still provide a university-level education.

Because these monasteries served as colleges, it is understandable that the monks acquired a penchant for intellectual debate. That's because of the historical Buddha's enlightenment, which is what makes Buddhism a religion of knowledge and understanding. In their view, knowledge and an understanding of the interconnectedness of everything are the only paths to liberation. Wisdom may be gained in part via philosophical discourse. As a common practice, debating philosophical ideas is so highly esteemed that the loser is obligated to accept the other side's reasoning.

Tibetan monks hold dialogues to dispel common misunderstandings. Any dissenting voices may be silenced by building a firm foundation for a position's defensibility. Scholars who engage in monastery discussions do more than just discuss theory; they draw conclusions about the non-obvious nature of phenomena by drawing on the evident. Debaters are attempting to comprehend the nature of reality by analyzing natural events with great attention. A monastic argument is incomplete without this quest for truth's foundation.