Khedrup Gelek Pelzang, 1st Panchen Lama

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Khedrup Gelek Pelzang
1st Panchen Lama of Tibet
Khedrup Je.jpg
Khedrup Gelek Pelzang, 1st Panchen Lama
Tibetan མཁས་གྲུབ་རྗེ་
Wylie translit. mkhas-grub dge legs dpal bzang po
transcription (PRC) Mkhas-grub Rje Dge-legs Dpal-bzang-po
THDL Kaichub Gêlêg Baisangbo
Born 1385
Birthplace Taktser, Amdo
Died 1438 (aged 52–53)
Predecessor Yungtön Dorjepel
Successor Sönam Choklang
Royal house Panchen Lama
Father Choekyong Tsering
Mother Diki Tsering

Khedrup Gelek Pelzang (1385–1438 CE) – better known as Khedrup Je – is considered the First Panchen Lama. Khedrub Je was one of the main disciples of Je Tsongkhapa (whose reforms to the Kadam tradition of Atisha are considered the beginnings of the Gelug school of Tibetan Buddhism). Khedrub Je is considered to be an emanation of Manjushri, the Buddha of Wisdom.

Recognition[edit]

Khedrub Je was posthumously decided by the 5th Dalai Lama to have been a previous incarnation of Lobsang Chökyi Gyaltsen (1570–1662). Like all the Panchen Lamas, he is considered to be an incarnation of Amitabha Buddha. Traditionally, there were considered to be four Indian and three Tibetan incarnations before Khedrup, starting with Subhuti, one of the original disciples of Gautama Buddha.[1][2]

According to the legend, after Tsongkhapa passed away in 1419, his disciple Khedrub Jey on five occasions met with him in mystical states. Kedrub Jey is most remembered for his charisma as a teacher, as well as for the many excellent commentaries that he wrote on the tantric lineages which Tsongkhapa gathered together and elucidated. He played an important role in the education of the First Dalai Lama, who was the youngest of Tsongkhapa's five chief disciples.[3]

Background[edit]

Before becoming Tsongkhapa's foremost disciple, Khedrup Je had been a learned Sakyapa scholar.[4]

Writings[edit]

Altogether, Khedrub Je's collected works total nine volumes in all, comprising a total of fifty-eight treatises. He also wrote many prayer books.[4]

Kalachakra[edit]

Khedrub Je wrote an important text on Kalachakra which is still used by Tenzin Gyatso, the (current) 14th Dalai Lama, as the basis for his public empowerments into the practice of the Kalachakra Tantra.[5]

Mahamudra[edit]

Khedrub Je also wrote a root text on the Gelug-Kagyu tradition of Mahamudra: the meditational practice of using the mind to examine the nature of mind.[6]

Monastic career[edit]

Khedrup Je

Khedrup Je was unanimously chosen as Ganden Monastery's third abbot (after Tsongkhapa and Gyaltsab Je) by its monks, and also became the Ganden Tripa, the leader of the Gelug tradition. He also founded Baiju Monastery in Gyantse District in Tibet in 1418 as well as the large Riwo Choling Monastery in the Yarlung Valley, which is now just a heap of ruins.[7]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ Stein (1972) p. 84.
  2. ^ Das (1970), pp. 81-103.
  3. ^ Glenn H. Mullin & Andy Weber at [1], Excerpt from an Exhibition Catalog
  4. ^ a b Hilton (1999), p. 58.
  5. ^ Tenzin Gyatso, the Fourteenth Dalai Lama. (1999) Kālachakra Tantra Rite of Initiation: For the Stage of Generation. Translated by Jeffrey Hopkins. Enlarged edition, pp. 139-144. Wisdom Publications, Boston. ISBN 0-86171-151-3.
  6. ^ Gyatso, Tenzin; Berzin, Alexander. "The Gelug-Kagyu Tradition of Mahamudra". Retrieved 29 January 2013. 
  7. ^ Dorje (1999), p. 194.

References[edit]

  • Das, Sarat Chandra. (1970) Contributions on the Religion and History of Tibet (1970). Manjushri Publishing House, New Delhi. First published in the Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, Vol. LI (1882)
  • Dorje, Gyurme (1999). Footprint Tibet Handbook with Bhutan. Footprint Handbooks, Bath, England. ISBN 0-8442-2190-2.
  • Hilton, Isabel. (1999). The Search for the Panchen Lama. Viking. Reprint: Penguin Books. (2000), p. 58. ISBN 0-14-024670-3.
  • Stein, R. A. Tibetan Civilization, (1972). Stanford University Press, Stanford, California. ISBN 0-8047-0806-1 (cloth); ISBN 0-80-470901-7.

Further reading[edit]

  • The Great Seal of Voidness: The Root Text for the Ge-lug/Ka-gyu Tradition of Mahamudra. The Main Path All Buddhas Have Travelled (dGe-ldan bkah-brgyud rin-po-chehi phyag-chen rtza-ba rg yal-bahi gzhung-lam). (1975) Geshe Ngawang Dhargyey et al. Library of Tibetan Works and Archives. Dharamsala, H.P., India.

External links[edit]

  • Adams, Miranda (August 2007). "Khedrubje Gelek Pelzang". The Treasury of Lives: Biographies of Himalayan Religious Masters. Retrieved 2013-08-18. 
  • The Gelug-Kagyu Tradition of Mahamudra: complete online edition of book by 14th Dalai Lama and Alexander Berzin first published as The Gelug/Kagyü Tradition of Mahamudra (Ithaca, Snow Lion, 1997), comprising Khedrub Je's root text, autocommentary, and discourses on both.
Preceded by
Yungtön Dorjepel
1st Incarnation of the Panchen Lama Succeeded by
Sönam Choklang