Skip to main content


Samyé (bsam.yas). The first monastery in Tibet and scene of the great debate in which Kamalaśīla defeated the Chinese emissary Mahāyāna, thus ensuring that Indian rather than Chinese Buddhism would be the model for the development of religion in Tibet. The Samyé monastery was commissioned by King Trisong Detsen (790–858) and its building begun by Śāntarakṣita, formerly abbot of Nālandā, and completed with the assistance of Padmasambhava. The building itself, said to have taken seven years before Padmasambhava's arrival and five years after, was architecturally important for having set the pattern for all future monasteries in Tibet. Modelled after Odantapurī in Bihar (itself destroyed by Muslims in 1193), it contained one large and twelve small temples, four large and 108 smaller chörtens, all surrounded by a high wall, thus representing in maṇḍala form the ideographic Buddhist universe. During the cultural revolution it was completely destroyed by the Chinese.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Samyé." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. . 16 Feb. 2019 <>.

"Samyé." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. . (February 16, 2019).

"Samyé." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. . Retrieved February 16, 2019 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.