11th Panchen Lama controversy

11th Panchen Lama Controversy

11th Panchen Lama controversy

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The 11th Panchen Lama controversy is a dispute about the current legitimate holder of the Panchen Lama title, a political and religious leadership position in Tibet and Tibetan Buddhism. After the death of the 10th Panchen Lama, a dispute between the Chinese leadership and the exiled 14th Dalai Lama resulted in two competing candidates. The traditional search committee process involving monks in Tibet was disrupted when the Dalai Lama unilaterally announced his selection of Gedhun Choekyi Nyima. The leadership in China spirited Nyima away to prevent his being taken to India by the Dalai Lama's supporters and reverted to the Qing Dynasty's Golden Urn process to select Gyaincain Norbu, who currently fulfills the duties of the Panchen Lama in China.

Selection of the Panchen Lama

Five years after the death of the 10th Panchen Lama, ordinarily, the 11th Panchen Lama would have already been identified. The Nechung Oracle in Dharamsala had been consulted on the matter.

Tibetans would not consider a candidate for the eleventh incarnation legitimate unless he were identified according to Tibetan traditional means, including a search by the tenth's senior staff based on dreams and omens, and formal recognition of the result by the Dalai Lama. On the other hand, the leaders of the Chinese government wanted the process to demonstrated their authority. ...
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