The then Abbot of Sera Mey, Kensur Rinpoche Lobsang Rabga, who presided over the separation and segregation of monastic assets allowed Serpom Monastery (formally Pomra Khamtsen) to keep only the buildings on Pomra Khamtsen land, leaving the Serpom monks without a prayer hall, without a school and with insufficient accommodation.
1. This statement is rich, as Khensur Rinpoche Rabga did not leave Pomra Khamtsen without a prayer hall. They were able to keep the kangtsen prayer hall, a picture of which is in the very same article which prints this misleading information! The hall was plenty large enough to accommodate the Pomra monks at the time I was there. If they recruited for new monks amongst children in Nepal and needed a larger prayer hall due to that, this was well after the separation.
In fact, it was the Sera Mey Pomra monks who chose to follow HH Dalai Lama’s advice to stop propitiating Shugden who were left in the lurch. These students of the Dalai Lama have been holding their prayers in the basement of the main Sera Mey temple as they have nowhere else to go at the moment. There is project to build a new prayer hall for the kangtsen, now called Pobhor, on land donated by HHDL and the CTA. You can see a photo of the construction here: http://gedenshoelingcenter.wix.com/geden-insook#!sera-mey-pobhor-khamtsen/zoom/mainPage/imagefaa
2. In fact, it was the monks who decided to follow the advice of the Dalai Lama who were left with insufficient accommodation. Apart from those living at Jungpa and Gosok lhabrangs, monks who stayed in the main Pobhor hostel were made to feel uncomfortable and needed a new place to go. This is why the Pobhor Kangtsen building project also includes new space for accommodation.
3. In regards to the point about only being able to build on Pomra Kangtsen land- the land of Pomra Kangtsen was and is extensive, far more than that of any other kangtsen in Sera Mey. There are still significant amounts of undeveloped land under their control.
The monks of Serpom thus struggled to rebuild from near-zero, and eventually succeeded in raising sufficient funds to build a new prayer hall – the most basic structure required for a monastery.
Misleading, the monks of Serpom already had their prayer hall, the kangtsen kitchen, several large accommodation buildings, the office, a protector chapel, several shops and the kangtsen restaurant. All of which they kept after the separation. As mentioned above, it was the non-Shugden section of Pomra which had to start again from scratch.
The original monk quarters of Pomra Khamtsen
This photo of the original buildings of the khangtsen gives the impression that this is the only accommodation that Pomra was left with after the separation when they founded the Serpom Monastery. This is not the case. Pomra has significant housing assets, the buildings shown in this picture were only the first ones built. It is dishonest to publish these pictures, which give an impression of poverty.
To give you an idea of what the housing is like now, take a look to the right side of the picture, to the structure that rises above the buildings in the forefront. That is Serpom accommodation, built before the separation and which the monks kept after the separation. Very misleading.
Serpom housing includes several large, new and attractive structures to the right and left of the Sera Mey Temple Road, as you towards the temple. I encourage those who visit Sera to take a look.
Behind this wall is Sera Mey’s hospital. It was sponsored by Panglung Rinpoche, a Dorje Shugden lama
The Sera Social Service website, of which the hospital is a part, lists H. Poitner from Germany as the main sponsor of the hospital, not Panglung Rinpoche. Since the Health Centre has been named “The H. Poitner Health Centre” since before the separation of Sera Mey and Serpom, it seems the above quote is easily proven to be misinformation.
The financial plight of Sera Mey went on for some time until Kensur Lobsang Tharchin Rinpoche single-handedly paid off all the monastery’s debts from funds raised through his center in America. With the advice of his root teacher, Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche, Kensur Rinpoche also initiated a number of projects to support the Sera Mey monks, thus allowing them to rebuild Sera Mey Monastery in South India to what it is today.
Although Khensur Lobsang Tharchin Rinpoche (known as Ari Khensur Rinpoche) was an important benefactor, it is an exaggeration to say that he allowed Sera Mey in South India to be rebuilt into what it is today.
For example, the prayer hall project (pictured) history is as follows from the official Sera Mey website: http://serameymonastery.org/historyInExile.aspx
With the compassionate guidance and blessing of His Holiness, the indestructible blessing of the monastic congregation, the swift activities of Sera Mey’s Dharma protector Tha Ok Choegyal Chenmo, the extensive responsibilities shouldered by the most venerable ex-abbot Khyabje Khensur Rinpoche Jetsun Ngawang Thekchok and abbot Khyabje Khen Rinpoche Jetsun Lobsang Jamyang, and through the great financial supports of our sponsors, in 2002, the new monastic assembly was ready for inauguration.
However, when this great Abbot Emeritus visited Sera Mey’s kitchens after the separation, he was denied food and drink – the Sera Mey monks refused to serve him just because of his practice of Dorje Shugden.
This story is doubtful, as the author was present at Sera Mey monastery at the time of Khensur Rinpoche’s passing. Khensur Rinpoche passed away in 2004, BEFORE the separation of Sera Mey and Serpom Monasteries.
In addition, after his passing, Sera Mey performed extensive pujas for him in the main prayer hall. His name still adorns several buildings he helped finance to this day. (link to photos of pujas performed for Khensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tharchin after his passing in the main assembly hall of Sera Mey: http://gravesinindia.com/blog2/2009/12/ari-khensur-rinpoche-lobsang-tharchin-memorial-service-in-sera/)
Rubbish intentionally strewn alongside the main access road to Serpom Monastery, once again to deter others from visiting. As the land belongs to Sera Mey, Serpom monks are unable to clean up the debris as they will be charged with trespassing.
This area is at the border of the monastery, and has been a place for both Tibetan and local Indians to throw litter well since before Serpom Monastery was founded. It is located near a small creek choked with plastic, and so became a refuse ground.
- Part 2 of Correcting Deliberate Misrepresentations on Dorjeshugden.com about the Situation at Sera Mey Monastery 2014/08/12
- Shining Light on the Misrepresentations of the New Kadampa Tradition and Shugden Protestors 2014/06/10
- The Call of the Dalai Lama to settle the Shugden controversy by majority vote 2014/05/30
- No Naming Names – The CTA Should Continue with A Measured Response 2014/05/22
- The religious and political freedom of Shugden monks 2014/05/20
- Update on the Situation at Sera Monastery – Visit of H.H. the Dalai Lama 2009/03/08
- India Update – Present Situation 2008/11/17
- Review and Present Situation 2008/07/24
- Is the ‘Stick Referendum’ against Buddhist and democratic principles? 2008/08/11
- “The Western Shugden Group is severely lacking in credibility” – Correction to the Time Magazine Article by Tibet Scholar Robert Barnett 2008/12/14
- Scandalous feeding on rumors and gossips by pro-Shugden 2008/12/13
- (Un) Holy Truth’s 2008/09/01
- Funny Propaganda 2008/07/22