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11th Panchen Lama Leads Buddhist Gathering in Beijing

Erdeni Losang Qamba Lhunzhub Qoigyijabu, the 11th Panchen Lama and spiritual leader in Tibet, held a head-touching ritual in Beijing Tuesday to bless Buddhists and urge them to love their motherland and uphold Buddhism.

Panchen Lama chanted sutra before the 26-meter-high Maitreya and Tsong-Khapa at the Yonghe Lamasery, the largest Tibetan Buddhist Temple in Beijing, and consecrated Hada, pieces of white silk symbolizing luck, and cassocks to the two Buddhas.

In front of the Tsong-Khapa, the founder of the Yellow Sect of Tibetan Buddhism, he blessed over 150 Buddhists and living Buddhas from Tibetan-inhabited regions across China, who are studying at the Chinese Institute of Buddhist Studies in Beijing.

During the ritual, Panchen Lama urged all the Buddhists to safeguard the interests of their motherland and countrymen and observe all canons.

The head-touching ritual in Tibetan Buddhism is done by a Living Buddha to bless other Buddhists.

The 11th Panchen Lama was confirmed and approved by the Chinese central government as the reincarnation of the 10th Panchen Lama in 1995, after drawing lots from a golden urn.

He held his first head-touching ritual at his palace Deqen Pozhang in 1999.

(People's Daily March 20, 2002)

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