Author Topic: Newly renovated Sera Mey Debating Courtyard  (Read 7511 times)

Namdrol

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Newly renovated Sera Mey Debating Courtyard
« on: November 20, 2012, 12:26:16 PM »
This renovated debating yard which comprised of Assemble Ceremonial Hall encircled with unique Tibetan design, Adjacent Side Classrooms, Flooring Interlock Bricks and Disciplinarian Master's Residential Quarter was made possible to a successful completion stage in the year 2012 with a strenuous effort by H.E. Khensur Rinpoche Lobsang Rabga to receive contribution from United States of America and Canada during the time of his Abbotship tenure and genuine support from H.E. Tsawa Woeser Rinpoche and his disciples and also extensive teamwork responsibility by the 16th Administrative Office bearers.


Manjushri

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Re: Newly renovated Sera Mey Debating Courtyard
« Reply #1 on: November 20, 2012, 05:18:52 PM »
Nice. Makes me want to go visit a monastery. Such serene pictures of the monks. The courtyard is nice, and very well built.

Debating is a core practise in the monastic curriculum of Vajrayana. They will have debates almost every night, on certain topics. These debates are for the monks to further learn and understand what they have studied and there will be monks for and against the topic. Sometimes it could be one monk alone standing up against 3-5 monks who will debate with this monk from every angle. It makes you think, learn, understand and strengthens your faith through knowledge. For monastic degrees, debating is a fundamental assessment in the final exams. 

Great debaters included the likes of erudite masters like H.H. Kyabje Zong Rinpoche. Zong Rinpoche was renowned as a powerful and irrefutable debater. His sharp, philosophical debating skills were highly regarded by many, including the Great 13th Dalai Lama himself. Everyone who witnessed him had been awe-stricken by his knowledge, practical and analytical reasoning.


christine V

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Re: Newly renovated Sera Mey Debating Courtyard
« Reply #2 on: November 20, 2012, 05:49:23 PM »
Very beautiful Debating Courtyard. Hopes one day i am able to watch how the monks debate.
By debating on certain topics, it will clear our doubts and able us to contemplate on the topic that we are debating.
Even the H.H 14th Dalai Lama will have debate exam. This means how important the Debate are.

dsiluvu

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Re: Newly renovated Sera Mey Debating Courtyard
« Reply #3 on: November 21, 2012, 02:52:00 PM »
The monastic education system in the Gelug monasteries covers five major topics, based on five great Indian scriptural texts studied through the medium of logic and debate – "tsennyi" (mtshan-nyid, definitions) in Tibetan. During the course of study, monastics also learn the four Indian Buddhist tenet systems (grub-mtha’ bzhi): Vaibhashika (Bye-brag smra-ba), Sautrantika (mDo-sde-pa), Chittamatra (Sems-tsam-pa), and Madhyamaka (dBu-ma).

In Tibet, this education was only for monks. Since the reforms of the Fourteenth Dalai Lama in India, Gelug nuns are also beginning to follow this course of study. In Tibet, nuns mostly only memorized and performed rituals.

The five main subjects are as follows.

    Prajnaparamita (phar-phyin), far-reaching discriminating awareness, is the study of the stages and paths of mind (sa-lam) needed for the realization of voidness, liberation, and enlightenment. It is based on Filigree of Realizations (mNgon-rtogs-rgyan, Skt. Abhisamayalamkara) by Maitreya (rGyal-ba Byams-pa). Although Maitreya’s text is written from a Prasangika-Madhyamaka (dBu-ma thal-‘gyur-pa) viewpoint, its twenty-one Indian commentaries are written from the Svatantrika-Madhyamaka (dBu-ma rang-rgyud-pa) point of view, and most prominently its Yogachara-Svatantrika (rNal-‘byor spyod-pa’i rang-rgyud-pa) division.

    Madhyamaka (dbu-ma), the middle way, is the study of voidness according to the Prasangika-Madhyamaka view. The Svatantrika division studied in conjunction with this is Sautrantika-Svatantrika (mDo-sde spyod-pa’i rang-rgyud-pa). Madhyamaka study is based on A Supplement to (Nagarjuna’s) "Treatise on the Middle Way" (dBu-ma-la ‘jug-pa, Skt. Madhyamakavatara) by Chandrakirti (Zla-ba grags-pa, dPal-ldan grags-pa).

    Pramana (tshad-ma), valid cognition, is the study of the proofs for the validity of such essential points as the Three Supreme Gems, rebirth, and omniscience. It is based on A Commentary to (Dignaga’s "Compendium of) Validly Cognizing Minds" (Tshad-ma rnam-‘grel, Skt. Pramanavarttika) by Dharmakirti (Chos-kyi grags-pa). Several of its chapters are from the Sautrantika viewpoint and others the Chittamatra.

    Abhidharma (mngon-par chos, mdzod), special topics of knowledge, covers the physical and mental constituents of limited beings, rebirth states, karma, disturbing emotions and attitudes, paths to liberation, and so on. It is based on A Treasure House of Special Topics of Knowledge (Chos mngon-pa'i mdzod, Skt. Abhidharmakosha) by Vasubandhu (dByigs-gnyen) and is from the Vaibhashika viewpoint.

    Vinaya (‘dul-ba), rules of discipline, concerns the monastic vows. It is based on The Vinaya Sutra (‘Dul-ba’i mdo, Skt. Vinayasutra) by Gunaprabha (Yon-tan ‘od).

In addition, monastics study interpretable and definitive meanings (drang-nges) for further detail about the Chittamatra and Madhyamaka views. It is based on The Essence of Good Explanation Concerning Interpretable and Definitive Meanings (Drang-nges legs-bshad snying-po) by Tsongkhapa (rJe Tsong-kha-pa Blo-bzang grags-pa) (1357-1419).

All monastics must study these topics to at least some degree. They take turns, one month at a time, to care for the maintenance of the temples and other duties.

Source: http://www.berzinarchives.com/web/en/archives/study/history_buddhism/buddhism_tibet/gelug/overview_gelug_monastic_education.html

This goes to show the importance of debating in the Buddhist tradition which gives so much substance to the teachings we receive and understanding of the teachings so that it is not just another "blind faith" situation but rather a true conviction of teachings which creates a stronger firmer faith that is immovable. 

diablo1974

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Re: Newly renovated Sera Mey Debating Courtyard
« Reply #4 on: November 22, 2012, 09:51:05 PM »
In tibetan monastary, the practical lesson and the skills of debate are one of the important subjects to study upon. An ordained monk listens to the teachings and Read and memorizes the text and then contemplates on the meaning and meditates on it. After upon study and understanding the what he has studied, he is then ready to debate with others.

The debating monks will put forward his own thoughts and understanding of a point He puts forth his own view or understanding of a point in the doctrine, and the other debating party will raise objections to that view. Likewise, the opposition party will raise opposeing views to a interpretations or understandings.  One most important pupose of a debate in the buddhist context is not about putting the debating party in embarassment or gaining fame for oneself but rather is to help one another to overcome any wrong view ones  may have towards the doctrine.

Ensapa

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Re: Newly renovated Sera Mey Debating Courtyard
« Reply #5 on: December 07, 2012, 03:17:40 AM »
That is an amazingly huge courtyard. And it is all from the efforts of the monks in there who had to go around the world, touring and collecting funds, including the abbot himself. If CTA has really done their job well in taking care the monasteries, then the monasteries would not need to beg for funds like this and the abbot and the monks can focus entirely on their Dharma practices.

kris

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Re: Newly renovated Sera Mey Debating Courtyard
« Reply #6 on: December 23, 2012, 01:44:46 PM »
Rejoice to see the new debate courtyard!

From what I understand, debate is a very important part in the monastery. Through debates with logic, practitioners can learn much faster because practitioners need to think from both the challenging and defensing perspective. Also, while many monks are debating at the same time, it is very noisy and it is a way to force the monks to gain concentration.

May this debate courtyard produce even more master to spread Dharma in near future!!

Rihanna

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Re: Newly renovated Sera Mey Debating Courtyard
« Reply #7 on: December 23, 2012, 04:34:10 PM »
I am very happy to see this new debate courtyard. At the end of the day, I think all the monks just want to practise in peace and couldn't really be bothered with all the politics. It's just a handful going making trouble, and trying to prove they are the greatest followers of the Dalai Lama. But you know what they say, which is that empty vessels make the most noise - they talk a lot but say nothing. I believe the majority are good monks who are interested in the Dharma and learning, practising and studying, so I am happy to see that support for the monasteries is continuing. I hope soon we hear of similarly good news for Shar Gaden and Serpom, and the other DS monasteries.

Ensapa

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Re: Newly renovated Sera Mey Debating Courtyard
« Reply #8 on: December 24, 2012, 11:09:07 AM »
I am very happy to see this new debate courtyard. At the end of the day, I think all the monks just want to practise in peace and couldn't really be bothered with all the politics. It's just a handful going making trouble, and trying to prove they are the greatest followers of the Dalai Lama. But you know what they say, which is that empty vessels make the most noise - they talk a lot but say nothing. I believe the majority are good monks who are interested in the Dharma and learning, practising and studying, so I am happy to see that support for the monasteries is continuing. I hope soon we hear of similarly good news for Shar Gaden and Serpom, and the other DS monasteries.

With the protector's blessings, I am sure Shar Ganden and Serpom can easily outdo Sera monastery in terms of growth. What you said about the noisy few troublemakers do make sense because it cant be that the entire monastery be interested in something like that, just like that. There are thousands of monks and they cant be represented by a few troublemakers. It is always that few who are troublemakers, while the rest are good and abiding monks who really study in the monastery.