Dharamshala: On the 30th death anniversary of the 10th Panchen Choekyi Gyaltsen, His Holiness the Dalai Lama delivered a video statement remembering Panchen Rinpoche’s legacy and immeasurable contribution to Tibet.
The Panchen Lama is considered to be one of the most revered religious leaders of Tibet. His Holiness the Dalai Lamas and Panchen Lamas share a special spiritual relationship and are referred to as the ‘Sun and the Moon’ in the Tibetan Buddhist spiritual firmament.
In the five-minute video tribute, His Holiness the Dalai Lama described Panchen Rinpoche as an extraordinary spiritual figure who not only served the Buddha dharma but worked tirelessly for the happiness and well-being of the people of Tibet.
“The lineage of Panchen Rinpoche has made a tremendous contribution to Buddha dharma, in particular, the great 10th Panchen Rinpoche,” His Holiness said.
“Rinpoche’s devotion and service towards the Tibetan people and religion remained intact despite facing hardships for many years. Had he lived longer, I am certain that it would have been truly beneficial.”
“His passing away will remain an irreplaceable loss for Tibet.”
His Holiness further commented on the reincarnation of the 10th Panchen Rinpoche and observed that there are instances in Tibetan Buddhist tradition where a reincarnate lama took more than one manifestation.
“The great Khyentse Wangpo manifested five incarnations (Body, Speech, Mind, Quality, and Activity). It is possible that there can be more than one emanations.”
“I always say it in my prayers and firmly believe that if a great being, irrespective of origin, is effectively serving Buddha Dharma with the spiritual knowledge and application, then it is good,” His Holiness concluded.
The video message was requested by North America Committee for the observation of Thank you 10th Panchen Lama year.
The title ‘Panchen’ is made up of the first syllable of two words ‘Pandit’, a Sanskrit word meaning scholar, and ‘Chenpo’, a Tibetan word meaning great. Therefore it is a title given to great scholars.
In the 17th century, His Holiness the Fifth Dalai Lama gave his teacher, Lobsang Choekyi Gyaltsen, the then abbot of Tashi Lhunpo Monastery, the title of Panchen Lama, and declared that he would be reincarnated in a child and that he would continue to be reborn in an unbroken lineage of successors.