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Khedrup Gelek Pelzang

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Khedrup Gelek Pelzang
1st Panchen Lama of Tibet
Khedrup Je
Khedrup Gelek Pelzang, 1st Panchen Lama
Tibetan མཁས་གྲུབ་རྗེ་་
Wylie translit. mkhas-grub dge legs dpal bzang po
transcription (PRC) Mkhas-grub Rje Dge-legs Dpal-bzang-po
THDL Kaichub Gêlêg Baisangbo
Born 1385
Birthplace Taktser, Amdo
Died 1438
Predecessor Yungtön Dorjepel
Successor Sönam Choklang
Royal House Panchen Lama
Father Choekyong Tsering
Mother Diki Tsering

Khedrup Gelek Pelzang (1385-1438) better known as Khedrup Je, the 1st Panchen Lama, was one of the main disciples of Lama Tsongkhapa (founder of the Gelug tradition of Tibetan Buddhism).

Before becoming Tsongkhapa's foremost disciple,[1] Khedrup Je had been a learned Sakyapa scholar. He is considered to be a reincarnation of Manjushri, the Buddha of Wisdom. He wrote an important text on Kalachakra initiation which is still used by Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama, as the basis of his public initiations into the Kalachakra. Altogether, there are nine volumes of his collected works, containing fifty-eight treatises.[2]


Khedrup Je

Khedrup was posthumously decided to have been a previous incarnation of Lobsang Chökyi Gyaltsen (1570-1662), and is considered to be the First Panchen Lama and, like all the Panchen Lamas, was an incarnation of Amitabha Buddha.

Traditionally, there were considered to be four Indian and three Tibetan incarnations before Khedrup, starting with Subhuti, one of the original disciples of Gautama Buddha.[3][4]

Khedrup Je was unanimously chosen as Ganden Monastery's third abbot (after Tsongkhapa and Gyaltsab Je) by its monks, and also became the Ganden Tripa, the leader of the Gelug tradition.

Khedrub Je was a prolific writer (for example on Kalachakra), and founded Baiju Monastery in Gyantse District in Tibet in 1418. He also wrote many prayer books.[1]

According to the legend, after Tsongkhapa passed away in 1419, his disciple Khedrub Jey on five occasions met with him in mystical states. Kedrub Jey is most remembered for his charisma as a teacher, as well as for the many excellent commentaries that he wrote on the tantric lineages which Tsongkhapa gathered together and elucidated. He played an important role in the education of the First Dalai Lama, who was the youngest of Tsongkhapa's five chief disciples.[5]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Hilton, Isabel. (1999). The Search for the Panchen Lama. Viking. Reprint: Penguin Books. (2000), p. 58. ISBN 0-14-024670-3.
  2. Tenzin Gyatso, the Fourteenth Dalai Lama. (1999) Kālachakra Tantra Rite of Initiation: For the Stage of Generation. Translated by Jeffrey Hopkins. Enlarged edition, pp. 139-144. Wisdom Publications, Boston. ISBN 0-86171-151-3.
  3. Stein, R. A. Tibetan Civilization, (1972) p. 84. Stanford University Press, Stanford, California. ISBN 0-8047-0806-1 (cloth); ISBN 0-0847-0901-7.
  4. Das, Sarat Chandra. Contributions on the Religion and History of Tibet (1970), pp. 81-103. Manjushri Publishing House, New Delhi. First published in the Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, Vol. LI (1882)
  5. Glenn H. Mullin & Andy Weber at [1], Excerpt from an Exhibition Catalog

Further reading

  • The Great Seal of Voidness: The Root Text for the Ge-lug/Ka-gyu Tradition of Mahamudra. The Main Path All Buddhas Have Travelled (dGe-ldan bkah-brgyud rin-po-chehi phyag-chen rtza-ba rg yal-bahi gzhung-lam). (1975) Geshe Ngawang Dhargyey et al. Library of Tibetan Works and Archives. Dharamsala, H.P., India.
Preceded by
Yungtön Dorjepel
1st Incarnation of the Panchen Lama Succeeded by
Sönam Choklang

Some or all of this article is forked from Wikipedia. The original article was at Khedrup Gelek Pelzang. The list of authors can be seen in the page history.

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