Himalayan Art Resources

Incarnation Lineage: Panchen Lama Main Page

Panchen Lama Masterworks

- Art History

- Iconography (Panchen Lama List)

- Religious Context


The Panchen Lamas, closely associated with the monastery of Tashi Lhunpo in Shigatse, are a line of successively re-incarnating teachers in the Gelug Tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. The first Panchen Lama, Lobzang Chokyi Gyaltsen (1570-1662), was the tutor of the 5th Dalai Lama (1617-1682). The 1st Panchen was also the most important and most powerful Gelug teacher of his time. It is believed that the institution of the Dalai Lama, Panchen Lama and the Desi were a political strategy formulated initially by the 3rd Desi, Sanggye Gyatso (1653-1705), considered by some to be the illegitimate son of the 5th Dalai Lama in his relationship with the sister of the 2nd Desi.

Jeff Watt 4-2003 [updated 1-2019, 1-2020]