Panchen Lama

Average: 3.2 (5 votes)
Fast Facts
Other Names and Nicknames: 
Gedhun Choekyi Nyima, 11th Panchen Lama, The world's youngest political prisinor
Tibetan Buddhism, Gelug School, Mahayana, Lamaism
Main Countries of Activity: 
China, India
Date of Birth: 
April 25, 1989
Place of Birth: 
Lhari County, Tibet
In His/Her Body ("alive"): 
Ancestor Gurus: 


Gedhun Choekyi Nyima is the eleventh Panchen Lama of Tibetan Buddhism. He was born in Lhari County, Tibet.

On May 14, 1995, Gedhun Choekyi Nyima was named the 11th Panchen Lama by the 14th Dalai Lama. After his selection, he was detained by the authorities of China and he and his family have not been seen in public since May 17, 1995.

Later on, the Chinese authorities named Gyancain Norbu as Panchen Lama, a choice that is rejected by Tibetan Buddhists themselves.



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Books & Media

Recommended Books: 
Cover image

The Search for the Panchen Lama

by Isabel Hilton


"An excellent primer on Tibetan history and ....a chilling picture of the brutality of Chinese repression in Tibet."―Wall Street Journal

In May 1995, a seven-year-old Tibetan boy and his family were taken from their home by Chinese security forces. They have not been seen since. The boy's devotees believe him to be the eleventh incarnation of the Panchen Lama, the second most important incarnation in the Tibetan Buddhist hierarchy.  Isabel Hilton tells the gripping inside story of how this child became the pawn in a battle between the Chinese regime and Tibet's exiled religious leader, the Dalai Lama. In revealing the political intrigue that accompanied the race to choose and enthrone the eleventh Panchen Lama, Hilton "clarifies a great deal about the nature of Tibetan culture and history and the complexities of Tibet's relationship with China" (New York Times). "Lively and vastly entertaining.... Hilton has seen―and participated in―one of the final moments of a lost Tibet."―Boston Sunday Globe "Riveting ....captures the panoramic scope of a remarkable story.... The ending is heartbreaking."―Los Angeles Times "[A]n outstanding book, well-researched, lively, scholarly, humorous, sympathetic, and eminently readable."―The Tablet "[A]n important book, a work of impeccable scholarship, erudition and great personal courage."―Literary Review "[A] crash course in Tibetan history and affairs in addition to a rattling good story."―The Spectator "Hilton's excellent new book is a cool and intelligent explanation of the political intricacies surrounding the Panchen Lama."―The Observer 21 black and whtie photographs

Recommended Audio: 
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Sacred Prayers for H.H. the Dalai Lamas and Panchen Lamas

(Audio CD)

Chants by Tibetan monks from Tashi Lhunpo Monastery. All proceeds used to support the monks of Tashi Lhunpo Monastery.

Pro Opinions

It Is A Pity!

Nathyogi's picture

It is very pathetic to know about a small boy and his parents.
Dalailama who is in exile unnecessarily created troubles for him and his family by announcing this small boy as a lama.

Panchen Lama Missing.pdf2.82 MB