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19:08 Sep 28 2011

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Panchen Lama hosts prayer services at Raiqen Monastery in Tibet
08:08, June 07, 2010  

The 11th Panchen Lama hosted prayer services at Raiqen Monastery on Sunday during his first visit to this solemn 900-year-old Tibetan Buddhist monastery. He also offered head-touch blessings to devout believers who had gathered for prayers.

Over two hundred monks and others welcomed the Panchen Lama when he arrived at Raiqen Monastery Sunday morning after a three-hour ride over rugged mountain roads from downtown Lhasa.

Arriving at the monastery, the Panchen Lama, 20, exchanged hadas - a ceremonial silk scarf - with the 14-year-old Raiqen Living Buddha.

The maroon-robed Panchen Lama, among the most respected Tibetan Buddhist spiritual leaders, visited the monastery and prayed upon entering each of its sacred halls. He then led a 30-minute prayer service in the main hall and performed head-touch blessings to monks and local residents.

A 60-year-old Tibetan woman said she felt thrilled and grateful receiving the blessing.

The Panchen Lama arrived in Lhasa on Thursday, kicking off his annual visit to participate in a variety of Buddhist events in Tibet. On Saturday he visited Lhasa's famous Jokhang Temple.

The 11th Panchen Lama, Bainqen Erdini Qoigyijabu, was born in February 1990 in Tibet and enthroned in 1995.

He spends most of the time studying Buddhism in Beijing. He was in the predominantly Tibetan region of Yushu, Qinghai Province in May, praying for the dead while consoling the survivors from a 7.1-magnitude earthquake that killed 2,698 people there.

Early this year, the Panchen Lama was elected vice president of the Buddhist Association of China and became a member of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), the country's top political advisory body.

Source: Xinhua


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