Panchen Lama blesses Tibetans in Lhasa

Source:Xinhua Published: 2016/5/21 17:15:34

The 11th Panchen Lama, a spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism, blessed thousands of pilgrims in Lhasa on Saturday by conducting a traditional "head-touching" ritual. 
The 11th Panchen Lama, Bainqen Erdini Qoigyijabu, performed the ritual at his residence in downtown Lhasa. 
Saturday, the 15th day of the fourth month in the Tibetan calendar, is the traditional Tibetan holiday Saga Dawa, or the anniversary marking Buddha's birth. 
To celebrate the Saga Dawa, large crowds of devout Buddhists, holding prayer wheels, circumambulated the Potala Palace and Porgor Street, two major pilgrim routes in Lhasa's city center. 
Gamyang Qoizhoin, 82, heard of the ritual on her daily pilgrimage route early in the morning and stood at the front of the line waiting for a blessing. 
She was among the first to receive a head-touching and a portrait of the Panchen Lama. 
The ritual began at 10 a.m. and will last for two days. 
After receiving the long-awaited blessing, Doje Namgyal, 85, held the Panchen Lama's portrait above his head and whispered a long prayer before stepping back and disappearing in the crowd of pilgrims. 
"It was the fourth time that I have met the Panchen Lama in person," he said. "But to be blessed at the Saga Dawa is so auspicious. It's too good to be true." 
The Panchen Lama has traveled to most parts of Tibet Autonomous Region and blessed 1.5 million people since he was enthroned as the spiritual leader in 1995. 
He arrived in Lhasa on Tuesday and visited the Jokhang Temple on Thursday. 
The Panchen Lama serves as vice president of the Buddhist Association of China and a member of the Standing Committee of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, the country's top political advisory body.

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