5th Dalai Lama - Relations With The Fourth Panchen Lama

Relations With The Fourth Panchen Lama

Lobsang Chökyi Gyaltsen (1570–1662), the Fourth Panchen Lama of Tibet, and the first to be accorded this title during his lifetime, was the teacher and close ally of the 5th Dalai Lama, who gave him the monastery of Tashilhunpo as a living and declared him to be an incarnation of Amitabha Buddha (Tibetan: Ö-pa-me) and since then every incarnation of the Panchen Lama has been the master of Tashilhunpo.

When Lobsang Chökyi Gyaltsen died in 1662, aged 93, the Fifth Dalai Lama immediately began the tradition of searching for his reincarnation. He composed a special prayer asking his master 'to return' and ordered the monks of the great monasteries to recite it. He also reserved the title of Panchen (short for Pandita chen po or 'Great Scholar'), which had previously been a courtesy title for all learned lamas, exclusively for him, and this title has continued to be given to his successors and, posthumously, to his predecessors starting with Khedrup Je.

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