Old photos: the reincarnation of the 10th Panchen Lama
The picture shows monks in Lhasa Sera Monastery praying for the reincarnation of the 10th Panchen Lama Erdeni.
At 20:16 on January 28, 1989, the 10th Panchen Lama in Tibetan Buddhism passed away in the new Dechen Kelsang Potrang Palace, Shigatse of Tibet.
On January 24, four days before the 10th Panchen Lama’s parinirvana, the lama’s reincarnation was discussed at a forum held by religious people from Tibet, Qinghai, Gansu, Sichuan and Yunnan provinces. They mentioned that “three candidates should be chosen and their background must be verified individually”.
"I want to find my reincarnated soul boy through ‘drawing lots from a golden bottle’ in front of the Sakyamuni,” which was the master’s dying wish.
The picture shows the golden bottle with three name tags in front of the Sakyamuni at Jokhang Temple.
The search for the reincarnated soul boy lasted for six years. On August 19, 1989, the State Council approved the founding of the work team for searching the reincarnated soul boy.
It was made up of the 10th Panchen Lama’s scripture teacher Gyayak living Buddha, members from the democratic management committee of Tashilhunpo Monastery as well as major and famous living Buddhas, Khenpos and monks.
The group searched for the reincarnated soul boy in strict accordance with religious rituals and procedures.
Ye Xiaowen, secretary of the State Bureau of Religious Affairs, provided endorsement.
The first step was to recite the scriptures, pray, divine and observe the lake, in order to determine the whereabouts and Zodiac of the reincarnated soul boy, and then pay him a secret visit.
After finding all the three candidates, the work team reported the search work and the candidates to the central government.
The central government then carried out all work based on religious rituals and history. At last, the 10th Panchen Lama’s reincarnated soul boy was appointed by “drawing lots from a golden bottle”.
The living Buddha Bomi Jampa Lodro, president of the Tibetan branch of the Chinese Buddhist Association and member of the searching work team, was drawing lots.
Luo Gan, State Council delegate and State Councilor at that time, was reading out the State Council’s “special permission for Gyaltsen Norbu to be appointed as the 11th Panchen Erdeni by drawing lots from a golden bottle”.
On November 29, 1995, the drawing lots ceremony for the 10th Panchen Lama’s reincarnation took place in front of the image of Sakyamuni Buddha of the Jokhang Monastery in Lhasa, Tibet. Gyaltsen Norbu from Lhari County in Tibet Autonomous Region was chosen, and through special permission from the State Council, Gyaltsen Norbu was approved as the 11th Panchen Erdeni.
On December 8, 1995, Li Tieying, State Council delegate, member of the CPC Central Committee Political Bureau and State Councilor, presided over the enthronement.
Li Tieying, on behalf of the State Council, was presenting the 11th Panchen Erdeni with a gold book and gold seal.
Li Tieying was reading the book on behalf of the State Council.
The 11th Panchen Erdeni’s enthronement ceremony
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The 11th Panchen Lama, Bainqen Erdini Qoigyijabu(the Panchen Lama) completed his research and Buddhist ceremonial activities in Lhasa, Shigatse, Nagqu and Nyingchi in Tibet.
It is late September in Shigatse, Tibet; the Fall air feels crisp. The 11th Panchen Lama Bainqen Erdini Qoigyijabu visited the Namling County, Rinbung County, and Dingri County on his visit in Shigatse.
The 11th Panchen Lama performed a series of religious and social activities in Tibet Autonomous Region.