Within three days of the identification of 11th Panchen Lama Gedhun Choekyi Nyima recognised by His Holiness the XIV Dalai Lama, the child was kidnapped by the Chinese forces and was replaced by Gyaincain Norbu. His parents were members of the Communist Party. It’s almost 22 years since the disappearance of the 11th Panchen Lama, and in spite of the pressure from all across the world, the Draconian Forces have their grips tight keeping silent about the subject. Here’s a report by Eswar, in the weekly column, exclusively in Different Truths.
Panchen Lama meaning the Great Scholar is an important reincarnation lineage in the Gelug School of the Tibetan Buddhism. Panchen Lama is second only to Dalai Lama and is part of the process in which the new Dalai Lama is chosen. This being one of the reasons why the title and the controversy regarding the missing of the 11th Panchen Lama for the last 25 years, stands more importance.
The first Panchen Lama was Lobsang Chokyi Gyaltsen (1570 – 1662). He was the tutor and a close friend of the 5th Dalai Lama, who pronounced Panchen Lama to be the reincarnation of Dhayani Buddha Amitabha. Until then, the title was used as a courtesy title for all exceptionally learned Lamas
The 5th Dalai Lama requested Panchen Lama to accept Tashihunpo Monastery as lifetime seat for his future reincarnations. The monastery was built by the 1st Dalai Lama in 1447 CE. The Monastery, like other monasteries, was destroyed during the ‘Cultural’ Revolution.
The seat of Panchen Lama, since the 9th Panchen Lama, is mired by controversies, which still continues. The 10th Panchen Lama – Choekyi Gyaltsen (1938 – 1989) decided to stay back in Tibet when His Holiness the XIV Dalai Lama had to leave his country, seeking refuge in India. The 10th Panchen Lama initially is believed to have sided with the Chinese forces but later understood the perils of the decision and later repented. Just five days before his death due to ‘heart attack’, he delivered a speech in Tibet in which he said ‘Since liberation, there has certainly been development, but the price paid for this development has been greater than the gains”. In 2011, the Chinese dissent Yuan Hongbing declared that Hu Jintao (6th President of the People’s Republic of China), then Party Regional Committee Secretary in Tibet Autonomous Region, to have masterminded the death of the 10th Panchen Lama.
The 10th Panchen Lama had also given up his monks robes in 1978 and married a Han Chinese woman Li Jie and looking at the political implications of the union of a Tibetan Lama and a Han woman, wife of Deng Xiaoping (a prominent leader of the PRC after the death of Mao Zedong) and widow of Zhou Enlai (the first premier of PRC) helped them get married in a pompous wedding ceremony held at the Great Hall of the People in 1979. The couple had a daughter in 1983 named Yabsi Pan Rinzinwangmo, known as the Princess of Tibet, being the only known offspring in the 620-year history of Panchen and Dalai Lama.
The death led to the second Tibet unrest leading to a massacre by the Chinese forces.
The selection of the 11th Panchen Lama, seen as a dress rehearsal for the selection of the XVth Dalai Lama by the Chinese forces was again mired in controversy. Within three days of the identification of 11th Panchen Lama Gedhun Choekyi Nyima recognised by His Holiness the XIV Dalai Lama, the child was kidnapped by the Chinese forces and was replaced by Gyaincain Norbu by the Chinese forces. His parents were members of the Communist Party.
It’s almost 22 years since the disappearance of the 11th Panchen Lama, and in spite of the pressure from all across the world, the Draconian Forces have their grips tight keeping silent about the subject.
Photos sourced by the author.
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