Lobsang Chökyi Gyaltsen, 4th Panchen Lama

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Lobsang Chökyi Gyaltsen
Lossan Chho Kyi Gyal -Tshan.jpg
Born 1570
Died 1662 (aged 91–92)

Losang Chö kyi Gyaltsen (Tibetan: བློ་བཟང་ཆོས་ཀྱི་རྒྱལ་མཚན་Wylie: blo bzang chos kyi rgyal mtshan) (1570–1662) was the fourth Panchen Lama of the Gelug school of Tibetan Buddhism and the first to be accorded this title during his lifetime.

Losang Chö kyi Gyaltsen was the teacher and close ally of the 5th Dalai Lama, called "the Great". The "Great Fifth" gave him Tashilhunpo Monastery as a living place and declared him to be an incarnation of Amitābha, and since then, every Panchen Lama has been the master of Tashilhunpo.[1]

When Losang Chö kyi Gyaltsen died in 1662, aged 91 or 92, the Fifth Dalai Lama immediately began the tradition of recognising his reincarnation. He composed a special prayer asking his master to return and ordered the monks of the great monasteries to recite it.[2] He also reserved the title of Panchen (short for Pandita chen po or 'Great Scholar'), which had previously been a courtesy title for all learned lamas, exclusively for him,[3] and this title has continued to be given to his successors and, posthumously, to his predecessors starting with Khedrup Gelek Pelzang, 1st Panchen Lama.

The 4th Panchen Lama was a prolific writer and teacher, composing more than three hundred works.


  1. ^ Tibet is My Country: Autobiography of Thubten Jigme Norbu, Brother of the Dalai Lama as told to Heinrich Harrer, p. 121. First published in German in 1960. English translation by Edward Fitzgerald, published 1960. Reprint, with updated new chapter, (1986): Wisdom Publications, London. ISBN 0-86171-045-2.
  2. ^ Karmay, Samten C. (2005). "The Great Fifth", p. 2. Downloaded as a pdf file on 16 December 2007 from: [1]
  3. ^ "The Institution of the Dalai Lama", by R. N. Rahul Sheel in The Tibet Journal, Vol. XIV No. 3. Autumn 1989, p. 32, n. 1
Preceded by
Ensapa Lobsang Döndrup
Panchen Lama Succeeded by
Lobsang Yeshe