11th Panchen Lama Versed in Buddhism

Erdeni Losang Qamba Lhunzhub Qoigyijabu, the 11th Panchen Lama, has been well versed in the Tibetan Buddhist scriptures after nearly seven years of hard work.

The 11th Panchen Lama, 12 years old, was chosen in front of the statue of Sakyamuni in December of 1995 as the reincarnated boy of the late 10th Panchen Lama through the practice of lot drawing from a gold urn out of several candidates.

His tutor, Jamjang Galco says " The 11th Panchen lama has an extraordinary memory and wisdom. He respects the old and loves the young and has made tremendous progress in his learning of Tibetan Buddhism scriptures."

"It has been a great honor for me to have such a promising student."

He also says the daily schedule of the 11th Panchen Lama who lives in the Zhaxi Lhunbo Lamasery is busy with a regular routine.

Waking up at 6:30 a.m. the 11th Panchen Lama usually recites scripture first and then takes a half-an-hour walk. The rest of the day will be spent mainly in classes but also with breaks for meals.

As every Panchen Lama has to be an accomplished monk with the title of "Geshi", the highest academic degree in Buddhism, and able to answer any questions from monks, the 11th Panchen Lama is completely absorbed in study.

"The other day when a scripture debate was held in the lamasery, the 11th Panchen Lama made an excellent demonstration of his knowledge and impressed all monks present," Jamjang Galco said.

In addition, the 11th Panchen Lama can speak standard Chinese fluently and use computers proficiently.

Jamjang Galco says he is fully confident that the 11th Panchen Lama will spread Buddhism and benefit the people.

Cering Lama, director of the Democratic Management Committee of the Zhaxi Lhunbo Lamasery, said that the 11th Panchen Lama is courteous and philanthropic.

"Whenever he sees birds, cats and dogs, he will feed them and caress them," he says.

According to him, the 11th Panchen Lama also shows a strong interest in Tibetan traditional culture and has a great interest in poetry, novels, sports, photography, calligraphy and computers.

(Xinhua News Agency June 22, 2002)

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