Panchen Lama Bainqen Erdini Qoigyijabu will give an important four-day Buddhist ritual known as Kalachakra in Zhaxi Lhunbo Lamasery in Xigaze, southwest China's Tibet, later this month.
The temple and the Buddhist Association in Xigaze jointly announced on Tuesday that the Kalachakra service will last from July 21 to 24.
Kalachakra, which means the wheel of time, is a key ritual in Tibetan Buddhism. If offered by senior monks, it often draws a huge crowd. No such service has been done in Tibet in the past 50 years.
An altar covering 200 square meters has been built for the ritual on a meadow outside the Panchen Lama's summer residence in Xigaze. The altar is covered by yellow silk cloth embroidered with auspicious Tibetan designs. A large LED screen is erected on each side of the platform.
The Zhaxi Lhunbo Lamasery in Xigaze is known as the home temple for Panchen Lamas. It hosted the 20th anniversary of the enthronement of Bainqen Erdini Qoigyijabu, the 11th Panchen Lama, in December 2015.
Currently serving as vice president of the Buddhist Association of China, the Panchen Lama has become an accomplished Buddhist leader, who has given head-touching blessings to 1.5 million Buddhists.
Tibetan Buddhism devotees believe a Kalachakra initiation by a senior guru can extricate them from pains through the cycle of life.
The ninth Panchen Lama is the only Panchen Lama to have given Kalachakra. He did so twice, in Beijing and Hangzhou, in the last century. Several Tibetan Buddhist gurus have held the service in Tibetan prefectures in Gansu and Qinghai provinces.
"This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for me to receive Kalachakra from the Panchen Lama," said Palden, a 54-year-old farmer in Xigaze. He has signed up to the ceremony's official account on messaging service WeChat on his smartphone so he can receive timely information.