The original Sera monastery is in Lhasa, Tibet.
It was founded in 1414, by Jamchen Chojey (Sakya Yeshe), a disciple of Tsong Khapa.
Like the Drepung and Ganden monasteries, it had three colleges:
- Sera Mey Dratsang, built in 1419
- Sera Jey Dratsang, built in 1435
- Ngagpa Dratsang, built in 1559.
After the Chinese annexation of Tibet and the subsequent exodus of Tibetan monks to India, Sera monastery was reformed in Bylakuppe, India, near Mysore. Because none of the monks of the Ngagpa Dratsang (Tantric College) survived the invasion, only the Sera Mey College and Sera Jey College were reformed in India. Sera Monastery is still standing in Tibet, and once again houses some Tibetan Buddhist monks.
Graduates of Sera Jey College who are known in the west include:
- Lama Thubten Yeshe
- Lama Thubten Zopa Rinpoche
Graduates of Sera Mey college who are known in the west include:
- Pabongka Rinpoche—Author of Liberation in the Palm of Your Hands
- Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche—one of the current Dalai Lama‘s teachers
- Sermey Khensur Rinpoche Geshe Lobsang Tharchin—former abbot of Sera Mey university in Bylakuppe
- Geshe Michael Roach—founder of Asian Classics Instutite, Asian Classics Input Project and Diamond Mountain university and retreat center.