Larung Gar Monastery/Serta Monastery
Larung Gar monastery -Explore Tibet

The Larung Gar Monastery or Serta monastey is located in the valley of Larung and it’s under Serta County of Garze Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in Sichuan, China. From the east of Serta county at the distance of 20km. It is the largest Tibetan Buddhist Institute in the world, consists of 40,000 monks, nuns and students from different places who are engaged in Dharma study and practice.

Larung Gar monastery -Explore Tibet

The Larung Gar Monastery is founded by one of the most respected spiritual leaders of all time and his name is Khenpo Jigme Phuntsok. Khenpo Jigme Phuntsok was the incarnation of the great Terton (treasure reviler) Terchen Lerab Lingpa, who was a teacher of His Holiness the 13th Dalai Lama. In 1980 Jigme Phuntsok Rinpoche established Larung Gar Institution at high hill grassland of the Larung valley. This site was chosen because of its significant history as a sacred place in Vajrayana, where monks went to achieve a high level of spiritual achievement and realize all karmas. One of the great master of Tibetan Buddhist His Holiness the 1st Dunjum Rinpoche has stayed at that place with his thirteen disciples attained a high level of spiritual achievement. After seven years of the establishment of Larung Gar, the 10th Panchen Lama approved the founding of institute and presented a plaque on which he wrote in Tibetan “Larung Gar Five Sciences Buddhist Academy”, and respectfully addressed His Holiness Jigme Phuntsok as “King of Buddha Dharma”. The chairman of Buddhist Association of China, wrote the name of the institution in Chinese as an era of the revitalization of Tibetan Buddhism thus begin. His great activities are being carried out and expanding just as predicted, reaching the inner hearts of many people around the world.

The aim of the institute can be pursuits at four principles: to unite Buddhist in harmony, to uphold pure precepts, to study and reflect upon and practice the sacred Dharma; finally, to propagate the Dharma and benefit all beings. Based on those principles institute welcome all background of people who are willing to study and practice Tibetan Buddhism at the institution. The academy has grown substantially since then and as of recent years, it has over 40,000 monks and nuns. The nunnery so-called Larung Horxi Samyang Lonpê Buddhist Institute is not located in the Larung valley but renamed as Ngarig Buddhist Institute by Khenpo Tsultrim Lodoe. These days the institution is under the guidance of two respected Khenpos, Khenpo Sodargye and Khenpo Tsultrim Lodro who are the student of Late Khenpo Jigme Phuntsok.

Larung Gar monastery -Explore Tibet

The curriculum at Larung Gar Five Sciences Buddhist Academy includes three parts as Sutrayana, Secret Mantrayana and common culture.  The main course of teaching Sutrayana involve five major categories of the treatise are Vinaya, Hetuviday, Abhidharmamkosa Sastra, Madhyamika and Prajnaparamita. The teaching of Secret Mantrayana consists of esoteric Shastra, various forms of preliminaries, generation phase, completion phase, the Great Perfection and Pith instruction. The Common Culture course pertains to the science of language, the science of medicine, Tibetan language, Tibetan dialect, etc.

In 1999 the Larung Gar Five Sciences Buddhist Academy was recognized as one of the largest and most influential centres for the study of Tibetan Buddhism in the world by the New York Times. In the more 35 years, the institute has produced Hundreds of eminent Buddhist scholars and practitioners who are in the responsible of founded numerous Dharma centres around the world. Among those eminent scholars, two of the brightest scholars are Khenpo Sodhargye and Khenpo Tsultrim Lodoe. By teaching the sacred Dharma and revitalizing the traditional Tibetan culture, also improving ethnic unity. They have made a huge contribution in propagating the Buddha Dharma into the beings.
 
Larung Gar monastery -Explore Tibet

According to two hundred years ago, prophecy wrote by First Dadrupchen Rinpoche, “at Danjan ALa Mutian Larung Valley, Guru Rinpoche will appear as the one named Jigme, who is surrounded by the four groups of Bodhisattva disciples. His teachings of sutra and tantra will shine like on illuminating sun; his activity of benefiting beings will be able to hold up the heavens and support the earth, he will attract sentient beings in all the directions and lead them onto the path of liberation, and anyone making connections with him will be reborn to the Buddha Amitabh’s Pure Land.” The prophecy is interpreted to mean that the Larung Valley, protected by the God of Mutian and surrounded by the sacred Danjian Mountain and Ala Mountian, is a blessed site.  The prophecy has identified the name of His Holiness Jigme Phuntsok Rinpoche, his disciples, and the location of the institute, also his achievements in the benefiting sentient beings over his lifetime. 
 
Larung Gar monastery -Explore Tibet

The landscape of Larung Gar is quite beautiful as the there are few main buildings with shrines and it is where monks and nuns attend for the religious teaching. There are two main buildings with golden roofs where one is for the monks and other is for the nuns to study. Both buildings have three floors each and the third floor has many rooms and they used for different classes such as debate class, language class, and Tibetan medicine. Those main buildings are surrounded by thousands of small box-shaped houses made by wooden. These houses are the residence of 40,000 monks and nuns, also lay people who are studying at the institute. In fact, the whole area is divided into two sections for the monastery and nunnery. There is a border between the monastery and the nunnery hence the monks and nuns are not allowed cross of the boundary.

There is one place where you can view whole Larung Gar Institute Valley, that is from the hill where Zangthok Peri Stupa is located. The campus of Larung Gar Institute is so huge that thousands of red coloured houses are built over green hills of Larung Valley. Every year thousands of tourists come here just to see the landscape as one of the most famous Tibetan Buddhist institute in the world and certainly, there are lots of Buddhist followers come for pilgrim from different parts of the world. There is a monastery guest house and during the religious ceremony, you won't get a place to stay. So during summer season Tibetan people usually sleep under tent over small hills near the monastery.
This is the one of must visit place in Tibet. Some say if you want to see heaven then you should visit Larung Gar valley because they say it is heaven on earth.
 
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