Panchen Lama offers blessings to Buddhist believers in Tibet

08:43, June 28, 2010      

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The Panchen Lama, Bainqen Erdini Qoigyijabu, offered head-touching blessings to more than 10,000 Tibetan Buddhist believers from Friday to Sunday in Xigaze Prefecture of southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region.

The 20-year-old Panchen Lama, one of the two most senior living Buddhas in Tibetan Buddhism, performed the ritual, the most important part of his annual Buddhist activities in Tibet, as part of afternoon prayers during the past three days.

Head touching is a religious ceremony in which a living Buddha or eminent monk blesses fellow monks and followers who believe the touching will rid them of suffering and prevent disaster.

"I want to live longer so that I can see the living Buddha and get his blessing again," said Pulag, a 76-year-old resident from Sagya County,Xigaze.

The Panchen Lama arrived at Xigaze's Zhaxi Lhunbo Lamasery Friday to mark the annual Buddha Festival.

The lamasery, built in 1447, was the traditional residence of Panchen Lamas. It is one of the six major monasteries of Tibetan Buddhism and a major place for Tibetan Buddhists to perform their observances.

Each morning from Friday to Sunday, the Panchen Lama paid his respect to the Buddhas, along with crowds of monks and pilgrims, in front of the huge thangka displaying portraits of Buddha Dipamkara, Sakyamuni and Maitreya outside the lamasery.

The Panchen Lama, who currently spends most of his days in Beijing studying Buddhism, arrived in Tibet three weeks ago for a series of Buddhist events, which have become his annual routine in recent years.

In more than 20 days, he offered head-touching blessings to a record high of more than 40,000 Buddhist belivers in Tibet, according to the regional united front work department.



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