Panchen Lama, 4th

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Lobzang Chokyi Gyaltsen(1570 - 1662)

The Fourth Paṇchen Lama, Lobzang Chokyi Gyeltsen, who was the first to hold the title, lived during a time of tremendous political and religious change in Tibet. During his near-century long life the Geluk government of the Fifth Dalai Lama, the Ganden Podrang, took power in Tibet, and Bhutan established itself as an independent state under the rule of the Drukpa Kagyu, both events in which he was intimately connected. Lobzang Chokyi Gyeltsen was a teacher to many powerful Tibetan, Bhutanese and Mongolian political and religious figures, including the Fourth and the Fifth Dalai Lamas, and the First Jetsundampa of Mongolia. The Sixteenth abbot of Tashilhunpo, he was given the title Paṇchen Lama by the Fifth Dalai Lama, who declared him an emanation of Amitabha. By the system advanced by the Ganden Podrang, Chokyi Gyeltsen is considered the First Paṇchen, not counting three previous incarnations, beginning with Kedrubje, one of Tsongkhapa’s close disciples. A prolific author, Chokyi Gyeltsen is credited with over a hundred compositions, including a number of commentaries and ritual texts that remain central in the Gelukpa tradition.

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