(TibetanReview.net, Dec30’18) – While not specifically mentioning the Chinese government’s controversially appointed 11th Panchen Lama Gyaltsen Norbu, the Dalai Lama has explained in a video message Dec 28 that a Lama could reincarnate in more than one human manifestation. The occasion was the 30th death anniversary of the 10th Panchen Lama Choekyi Gyaltsen on which thousands of people attended a prayer ceremony held at the Mahabodhi Temple in Bodh Gaya, Bihar.
In his five-minute video message for the occasion, the Dalai Lama has called the late 10th Panchen Rinpoche an extraordinary spiritual figure who not only served the Buddha dharma but also worked tirelessly for the happiness and well-being of the people of Tibet.
“Rinpoche’s devotion and service towards the Tibetan people and religion remained intact despite facing hardships for many years. Had he lived longer, I am certain that it would have been truly beneficial,” he has said.
He has called the Panchen Lama’s passing away in 1989, at age 51, an irreplaceable loss for Tibet.
While not directly addressing the developments concerning his reincarnation, the Dalai Lama has said there were instances in Tibetan Buddhist tradition where a reincarnate lama had more than one manifestation. “The great Khyentse Wangpo manifested five incarnations (Body, Speech, Mind, Quality, and Activity). It is possible that there can be more than one emanation.”
“I always say it in my prayers and firmly believe that if a great being, irrespective of origin, is effectively serving Buddha Dharma with the spiritual knowledge and application, then it is good,” the Dalai Lama has further said.
This is not the first time the Dalai Lama has made this remark in connection with the Panchen Lama reincarnation issue.
The video message was stated to have been requested by North America Committee for the observation of Thank you 10th Panchen Lama year.
The Dalai Lama was also reported to have said in a hundustantimes.com interview, report on Dec 25, that the 11th Panchen Lama Gedhun Choekyi Nyima recognized by him but then disappeared by the Chinese government within days in 1995 was alive.
The Panchen Lama reincarnation was instituted by the 5th Dalai Lama in the 17th century by according the recognition to his teacher Lobsang Choekyi Gyaltsen, the then abbot of Tashi Lhunpo Monastery.