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Bainqen Erdini Qoigyijabu, the 11th Panchen Lama

Bainqen Erdini Qoigyijabu is officially recognized as the 11th Panchen Lama, the top ranking figure of Tibetan Buddhism currently in China. His secular name is Gyaencaen Norbu.

He was confirmed and approved by the State Council, or the Chinese central government, as the reincarnate of the Tenth Panchen Lama on Nov. 29, 1995 after the lot drawing from a sacred,golden urn in strict compliance with religious rituals and conventions.

Gyaencaen Norbu was born on Feb. 13, 1990 at Lhari County in northern Tibet. His father and mother both had primary school education. The name of Gyaencaen Norbu, given by his maternal grandfather, means holy streamer of triumph.

There were many auspicious signs taking place around the birth of Gyaencaen Norbu. A baby-sitter found a white holy Tibetan letter on his tongue, a letter representing the incarnation of Buddha.

The search for the reincarnate of the late Tenth Panchen Lama began in June 1989. Based on lake observation, divinations and identifying objects left behind by the late Tenth Panchen as well as a comprehensive analysis of his countenance and auspicious signs, three most brilliant boy candidates were picked up eventually.

Through the method of drawing lots from the golden urn, conducted before the statue of Sakyamuni in the Jokhang Temple in Lhasa, Gyaencaen Norbu was selected as the reincarnate of the Tenth Panchen Erdeni. His religious name is Jizun Losang Qamba Lhunzhub Qoigyijabu Baisangbu.

Thanks to instructions from sutra tutors and his own diligence since his confirmation, enthronement and being initiated into monkhood, the 15-year-old Eleventh Panchen Lama has mastered the basic sutras and acquired a wealth of knowledge in other fields. He has become a religious leader who enjoys the profound love, esteem and belief of Tibetan Buddhist worshippers and believers.

According to those around him, the 11th Panchen Lama is very courteous and respectful to his elders and caring and friendly to kids and pets. Whenever he sees little birds, cats, and other little animals, he would go over to touch, hug or feed them. They say his benevolence is palpable in these small acts.

People say he is quick-witted and that it is very hard to link his comportment with his age.

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