Who is Panchen Lama ?


In continuation to my previous blog about Mcleodganj which you can read here, I am writing this one as promised in one of the sections.

This blog focuses on facts which I found very fascinating. While entering the Dalai Lama Temple I saw a hoarding bearing information about a child missing since May 17, 1995. I could not help but stepped back and clicked a picture of it. Below is the picture of the missing child who is apparently called a Panchen Lema.


I didn’t detour and straight went to the temple as planned but the curiosity to know more about him kept burgeoning within me. After the temple the next destination was the Bhagsu fall and for that I had to take a taxi. While coming out of the temple I came across another board which had detailed information about this child. I couldn’t wait and read all of it as I had to keep up to the tight schedule of the day, though I managed to click picture of the board. Below is the picture that I clicked while leaving the Dalai Lama Temple.

More Info about Panchan Lama
More Info about Panchen Lama

The moment I sat in the taxi I started inquiring about this child with the driver. The driver didn’t seem to be very interested in this topic or maybe he wasn’t aware of proper facts and information. I prodded him and all he said was that he was abducted by the Chinese government back in 1995 and till date he is in their custody. This didn’t assuage my hunger for more information on the topic. I opened my camera and zoomed the picture to read through the whole information that was available in the pictures that I had clicked in the temple.

In another 20 minutes I reached my next destination and then I got indulged in that. Panchen Lama took a back seat then. After the trip got over I then did a hell lot of googling and found out few facts which were worth sharing.

Who is Panchen Lama ? Panchen Lama is a term assigned to the person who is identified as a reincarnation of Dalai Lama, and the one which we are discussing here is the 11th Panchen Lama of Tibetan Buddhism. His name is Gedhun Choekyi Nyima and he was born on 25 April 1989. Now when we say Dalai Lama we aren’t referring to a person or a name but this serves more like a title. The word Dalai means “ocean” and Lama means “spiritual master” making the person an ocean of wisdom. The Tibetans consider them as living Buddha.

When the 10th Panchen Lama died in 1989 the Tibetan Buddhists started looking for individual who could be recognized as their next reincarnation. By then Tibet was already under the control of the non-religious People’s Republic of China so it became a big controversy as China is totally against the ideology and beliefs of Dalai Lama.

The head of the Panchen Lama search committee took Beijing’s approval and started making contacts with the Dalai Lama in order to find out a suitable candidate which would be accepted by both the Bejing authorities as well as the Dalai Lama. On 14th May Dalai Lama declared Gedhun Choekyi Nyima (the one who we are discussing here) as the 11th reincarnation. The Chinese authorities then stabbed the head of the Panchen Lama in his back and arrested him for treason. They later replaced him by one of their people.

The Chinese authorities then arrested (to be believed as per various sources seen on internet) the 11th Panchen Lama along with his family and till today he along with his family is under their custody. Till today his whereabouts are unknown and the Human Rights organizations have declared him as the “Youngest Political Prisoner in the world”. There were protests done by the Tibetans requesting his release but none of them have been catered yet. Many organizations have raised questions about his whereabouts highlighting the Rights of a child, the Right of Freedom and the Right for speech but the Chinese authorities have acted deaf and dumb. However they did respond on 17th July 2007 saying “Gedhun Choekyi Nyima is a perfectly ordinary Tibetan boy, in an excellent state of health, leading a normal, happy life and receiving a good education and cultural upbringing. He is currently in upper secondary school, he measures 165 cm in height and is easy-going by nature. He studies hard and his school results are very good. He likes Chinese traditional culture and has recently taken up calligraphy. His parents are both State employees, and his brothers and sisters are either already working or at university. The allegation that he disappeared together with his parents and that his whereabouts remain unknown is simply not true.” Source wikipedia.

It is so strange that a child has been abducted and being held in solitude for something that he hasn’t even done and probably doesn’t even have any idea about it. Can you gain the control over someone’s thoughts and beliefs by just taking over their teachers and preachers. Even if all the temples are closed and we don’t get to see the idols of various Gods and Goddesses the faith remains deep within us. It can never be taken away or taken over by any force or any activity. I wish and pray for the boy’s well being and I hope someday he gets his share of freedom.




  1. Hi Ruby, trumatter here. I saw your follow, unfortunately the website has shifted to trumatter [dot] in and I would love if you stay with us there. Hope to see you there 🙂 Much love XO