Panchen Lama’s historic 2017 visit to a Dorje Shugden monastery

The mural of Dorje Shugden is prominent on the wall behind the Panchen Lama as he enters the main prayer hall of Denma Gonsa Monastery

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By: Steve Lee

The highest-ranking lama of Tibet, the 11th Panchen Lama Bainqen Erdini Qoigyijabu officially visited Denma Gonsa monastery on the 19th July 2017. This massive Dorje Shugden monastery is situated in Zhidoi County, Qinghai province of China. In addition, the Panchen Lama also visited a nursing home in the county to grace a charitable event and blessed the elderly residents there.

Denma Gonsa Monastery is situated in Zhidoi County, Qinghai province of China

Denma Gonsa Monastery’s Lama Tsongkhapa statue is 35.32 meters high and this makes it the world’s largest indoor gilded bronze statue

The Panchen Lama visited the monastery following an invitation by the young incarnate lama of the monastery, Denma Gonsa Rinpoche. The Panchen Lama also visited a Sakya monastery, Jyeku Dondrub Ling within the same county as well. As the Panchen Lama’s car approached Denma Gonsa Monastery, Khampas and local nomads on horseback held out prayer flags and khatas to welcome his arrival. On top of that, locals also had several youths ride yaks on both sides of the car to escort the Panchen Lama towards the monastery.

In accordance with Chinese protocol, the approved itinerary of the visit included the Lama Tsongkhapa prayer hall, where the world’s largest bronze Lama Tsongkhapa statue is enshrined. He performed a Rabney consecration ritual to bless the massive Lama Tsongkhapa statue. Following this, the Panchen Lama paid homage at the reliquary stupa containing the relics of the previous incarnation of Denma Gonsa Rinpoche.

Panchen Lama conferred a long life initiation in a tent pitched outside of the monastery

After that, he moved on to the main prayer hall of the monastery to give a Dharma discourse and blessed the public in a traditional manner by placing his hand onto their heads. The crowd was fortunate to have an audience with this great lama, a qualified Geshe who has studied under some of the most prestigious masters of our time. Not only that, but he has received and steadfastly kept the vows of a monk, with no stain on his reputation as a pure monk, and has received many tantric empowerments, practiced the teachings and engaged in many retreats. Even without this title, the breadth and depth of his practice would qualify him as someone more than worthy of bestowing blessings and transmissions. One does not need to be a high ranking lama to be a great teacher of the Buddha’s sacred teachings. After a brief lunch break at midday, the Panchen Lama conferred a long life initiation in a tent pitched on the Tashitan fields just outside of the monastery. Panchen Lama returned to Beijing the next day.

This successful visit cements the close relationship that the 11th Panchen Lama has with Denma Gonsa Rinpoche and this indirectly confirms his approval of Dorje Shugden as an authentic practice and the high lamas, Geshes and sincere practitioners who worship this powerful deity.

The young Denma Gonsa Rinpoche welcoming the Panchen Lama to Denma Gonsa Monastery with a yellow khata

Panchen Lama along with the young Denma Gonsa Rinpoche performing Rabnye consecration ritual on the Lama Tsongkhapa statue

The Panchen Lama is presented with a framed verse of praise composed by Gonsa Monastery monks

Panchen Lama conferring a long initiation in a tent pitched outside of the Denma Gonsa Monastery

The famous statue of Dorje Shugden enshrined in the protector chapel of Denma Gonsa Monastery



Whether people accept him as the real Panchen Lama does not make any difference. He is a human, an individual, an ordained monk, and he has received teachings from many erudite masters. He has received tantric empowerments, engaged in retreats, does the prayers; he does what any other Buddhist monk does. So by virtue of being a monk and someone who has practiced for many years, he is a qualified receptacle, teacher and disseminator of the Dharma. Therefore whether you accept him as the Panchen Lama does not matter. Thousands of monks in the monasteries over the 1,000 years did not have titles but they disseminated the Dharma very well.

So do not judge whether he is doing Dharma correctly based on his title but on his merits. This is a democracy. This young man who has been labelled ‘Panchen Lama’ has held the vows of a monk, lived in a monastery, and studied under the most qualified and greatest masters of Tibet, especially of Tashi Lhunpo Monastery, for many years. By all accounts, he is a very qualified Geshe. This Geshe just happens to have the title ‘Panchen Lama’ and happens to be the highest ranking lama in Tibet, sanctioned by the Chinese government. Besides the Panchen Lama can emanate in hundreds of forms simultaneously. It is the choice of the Chinese who they want to sanction, and install as their spiritual leader. It is their choice. Nobody should or can take away their country’s choice.

The current Panchen Lama was invited to Denma Gonsa Rinpoche’s monastery in Kham, Tibet, China. Housing thousands of monks, it is one of the biggest monasteries that practises Dorje Shugden. The Panchen Lama, the Chinese government and the Tibetan people in Tibet endorse this monastery and support it. As you can see here in the series of pictures, the Panchen Lama went to this monastery to give his personal support to the young Denma Gonsa Rinpoche who is studying to become a Geshe himself. 



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8 total comments on this postSubmit yours
  1. Wonderful to see the continuation of a lineage and tradition. Blessed to see these images of a very successful visit to QInghai.

    May the 11th Panchen Lama continue his work to spread the dharma far and wide.

  2. China had always been accused by CTA and other Tibetans in exile for not keeping the traditions and culture of Tibet in China.

    The visit of the 11th Panchen Lama to Denma Gonsa Monastery is welcomed with grandeur befitting for a High Standing Lama as is the tradition and culture of Tibetan Buddhism.

    It is true that the title of Panchen Lama is only but a title, the fact that He is a pure monk who had been tutored by erudite masters makes Him more than qualified to give initiations and blessings.

    I rejoice this visit by the Panchen Lama and that His status is highly revered by the people in Tibet.

    Most of all the occasion is so joyous without any backlash on Dorje Shugden monks and devotees at Denma Gonsa monastery.

    May the worship of Dorje Shugden grow without restrictions nor ban in China.

  3. I remember, there was a huge earthquake in Sichuan, and all buildings went flat, except the Denma Gonsa Monastery.

    Really rejoice to see this visit by the Panchen Lama, he seems to be coming into his own. Furthermore the Denma Gonsa Chocktrul Rinpoche seems at ease with his role and very relaxed. Very good to see this development.

  4. I totally AGREE with you Dondrup Shugden!

    It is so wonderful to see that our great Dorje Shugden lineage masters being welcomed by such a huge crowd and in such grandeur without any disturbances from the CTA and the anti-Shugden protestors paid by the CTA!

    Before the ban, we never ever had to live in fear and have such problems. Everyone was very HAPPY and there were PEACE and PROSPERITY and every lived in Harmony!

    If the CTA keeps of harming their own people, dividing them, then what choice do we have really. At the end of the day, we just wish to do our practice peacefully and let our great Lamas spread the Dharma. What is so wrong with that? Why don’t Dorje Shugden teachers and people deserve religious freedom? Well if China is allowing us to practice, then so be it! What is more important is the preservation of the Buddha dharma then next will be more peace and harmony and then who know next will be Tibet autonomy.

    If you cannot be at peace with your so called enemy, then how do you expect them to agree with you? CTA is no logic, IQ zero, and only thinking how to fill up their pockets, that is why they just continue to suppress their people and extort them for money. Why on earth do we pay CTA tax for is we do not even have freedom and security being under them in India? Might as well become Indian citizen! That also they make you feel bad for it? Geeeezzz CTA you really are NOT for the people at all, what a huge mistake voting Lobsang Sangay!

    Rejoice to see Dharma grow in China. I don’t care if he is real or not real Panchen, he is still a monk spreading DHarma so? I am sure if he is not real Panchen, he cannot do so much and even if the real one is locked up, he is a Buddha Amitabha, no? So as a Buddha, I believe he would be happy that Dharma is spreading in the biggest country in the world 0 China. I care that Dharma and Dorje Shugden can grow.

  5. For those who think that there is no religious freedom in China and that Tibetan Buddhism has been suppressed, so really have a good read of this post. You will find the many photos as a proof of your wrong view. I think Tibetan Buddhism is more vigorous in Tibet China now as compared to in Dharamsala India. In India, oppression is happening under the watch of the CTA where Dorje Shugden practice is being banned and practitioners, lay and ordained are being forced to disparage the lineage. This act of schism is directly contributing to the degeneration of Tibetan Buddhism. Therefore, for serious practitioners and erudite lamas who would like to preserve the lineage and spread the Buddha Dharma, China is a more conducive environment.

  6. Trijang Choktrul Rinpoche confirmed the current incarnation of Denma Gonsa Rinpoche has authentic incarnation of his previous life’s student, Kyabje Denma Gonsar Rinpoche, together with the concurrence with Dorje Shugden (via Ari Kuten took trance of Dulzin) in 2014. Later, an official letter of this recognition was issued by HH the Panchen Lama.

    This is heartening news when the young Denma Gonsa Rinpoche meet again with HH the Panchen Lama. This meet up also bring benefit to the people as HH the Panchen Lama performed a Rabney consecration ritual to bless the massive Lama Tsongkhapa statue and also gave dharma discourse and blessed the public in a traditional manner by placing his hand onto their heads. HH the Panchen Lama have done all these just for the benefit of others same as the young Denma Gonsa Rinpoche.

    May these 2 great masters long life and continue the dharma work of their previous incarnations and spread the Dharma in the ten directions.

  7. We love Tibet and we want her free. But the Tibetan government in exile is segregating our people due to religion. Here in Germany today September 13, 2017 Tibetans are protesting against the Dalai Lama. Quite a few videos here:


  8. You should see a clear video of His Holiness the Dalai Lama asking the monasteries to expel monks that practice Dorje Shugden. See this on youtube:

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Contemplate This

.…Instead of turning away people who practise Dorje Shugden, we should be kind to them. Give them logic and wisdom without fear, then in time they give up the ‘wrong’ practice. Actually Shugden practitioners are not doing anything wrong. But hypothetically, if they are, wouldn’t it be more Buddhistic to be accepting? So those who have views against Dorje Shugden should contemplate this. Those practicing Dorje Shugden should forbear with extreme patience, fortitude and keep your commitments. The time will come as predicted that Dorje Shugden’s practice and it’s terrific quick benefits will be embraced by the world and it will be a practice of many beings.

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