The 11th Panchen Lama, the spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhist believers, attended a Buddhist rite at his new residence in Xigaze Monday.
Clad in a purplish red cassock and a red crown, the 13-year-old Panchen Lama sat on a newly-built throne in his residence to preside over the rite. Twenty-four bowls laden with wheat, rice, rapeseed, sesame and other cereals were placed in front of the throne with banyan leaves inserted in each bowl.
Sitting on his throne, the 11th Panchen Lama chanted Buddhist scriptures while skillfully playing with Buddhist bells and sticks. Then he threw the cereal bowls into the fire one by one for good luck.
The rite lasted five hours. The tutor of the 11th Panchen Lama and seven notable monks attended the ceremony.
The 11th Panchen ascended the throne in 1995 at Zhaxi Lhunbo Lamasery after he was confirmed as the reincarnated Panchen Lama in line with religious custom.
During his current tour of Tibet, the Panchen Lama has paid homage at the Jokhang Temple and the Ramogia Monastery, where two statues of the Buddha Sakyamuni are sited, and met with local government officials.
(Xinhua News Agency June 17, 2002)