Buddhism found its way into Tibet in the 7th Century and developed and flourished in Tibet, with the passage of time, there evolved Four Major Schools within Tibetan Buddhist Tradition namely Sakya, Gelug, Kagyud and Nyingma. Each specialized in distinct method of study and practice of the same pristine Buddha Dharma.
Je Tsongkhapa, the greatest saint and scholar of his time in Tibet and who is also a manifestation of Manjushri, founded the Gelugpa School of Tibetan Buddhist Tradition. Tsongkhapa had prophesized after having a divine vision in a retreat cave that a great Monastery would arise at the same place. In 1419, His disciple Jamchen Choeje Shakya Yeshe, under the patronage of Nedhong King Dakpa Gyaltsen, started construction of Sera Monastery.
Thus the original Sera Monastery was founded in Tibet in Fifteenth century (1419 .A. D.) by Jamchen Choeje Shakya Yeshe, Chief disciple of Tsong Khapa (1357-1419), the founder of Gelug Tradition of Tibetan Buddhism and one of the greatest saints & scholars of His time in Tibet.
The Sera Monastery is one of the three largest seats of Tibetan Buddhist Tradition of Gelug Order in the world. At the beginning there were four Colleges, which were later merged in Two Separate Dratsangs: Sera Mey Dratsang and Sera Jhe Dratsang. They are like Colleges of a same University.
Kunkhyen Lodroe Rinchen Senge founded the original SERA JHE Monastery in Tibet in 15th Century A.D. with patronage received from Mr. Paljor Gyalpo and Mrs. Buti Palzom. The Monastery comprised of 13 smaller groups of monks staying together in what is known as Khangtsens (House blocks) based on geographical proximity. At the time of His Holiness the Dalai Lama's Geshe Lharampa Degree Examination in 1959, Sera Jhe Dratsang alone had over 5000 monks.
Jetsun Choekyi Gyaltsen was the most learned and erudite scholar of Sera Jhe who rose to great fame as a master par excellence. He wrote extensively on all the faculties of Buddhist philosophical subjects and had authored several important treatises on original works of Tsong Khapa's two closest disciples. His works were later incorporated into Sera Jhe Monastic Curriculum as the official prescribed Courses of studies and these form core philosophical courses followed by Sera Jhe Monastery to this day. At the time of Communist Chinese final assault on Tibet's capital Lhasa in 1959, the Sera Jhe Monastery had over 5000 monks from all parts of Tibet.
The Monastery had produced galaxy of spiritual luminaries and highly accomplished masters & saints over the centuries. Sera Jhe had thus earned great reputation for its scholarly achievement and inner spiritual realization. The curriculum & academic system of studying entire gamut of Buddhist science and studies here in the Monastery dates back to Buddha's own time and is fully in conformity and unbroken continuity started from the time of famous ancient Indian Buddhist Universities, such as Nalanda and Vikramshila.
Unfortunately, beginning in 1949, the Communist Chinese started invasion of Tibet and finally usurped the whole of Tibet by brutally suppressing Tibetan People's Uprising in 1959. The Original Sera Jhe Monastery in Tibet was heavily damaged by Communist Chinese bombardment during the 1959 Tibetan National Uprising in Lhasa. The Sera Jhe Monks had played a pivot role in 1959 Lhasa Uprising due to which the Chinese military targeted Sera Jhe Monastery and destroyed major portion of it. Today, it is in dilapidated state and only a handful showpiece monks figure in the Monastery to fool the outside world.
Following occupation of Tibet by communist forces, the Chinese military carried out a full-scale destruction of Monasteries that were also repositories of ancient priceless rare and precious cultural heritage, scriptures and manuscripts, precious Arts and Artifacts, Images and traditional Tibetan Thangkas. By 1969 over 6500 Monasteries had been completely destroyed and not a single practicing monk or nun existed in Tibet.