June 17 this year is the 15th day of the fourth Tibetan calendar month, which marks the most important religious festival in Tibet, the Sagadawa Festival. According to legend, the 15th day of the fourth Tibetan calendar month marks the birth, enlightenment, and paranirvana of Sakyamuni, the founder of Buddhism.
On the day, the Panchen Erdeni Choskyi Gyalpo, who is also a member of the Standing Committee of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference and a vice president of the Buddhist Associatio of China, paid a vist to the Buddhist Academy of Tibet. All of the monk and nun students of the academy waited with khata scarves in their hands for the arrival of the Panchen Lama.
The Buddhist Academy of Tibet is located in Chushur County, Lhasa City, Tibet Autonomous Region. It is the first high-level, comprehensive Tibetan Buddhist college in Tibet. Its students are comprised of monks from the five major sects of Tibetan Buddhism.
The 11th Panchen Lama said: "Today the environment at the academy is so good with many good teachers and all the sects living together in harmony. I was very touched when I came to the front of the school gate. Everyone should cherish this hard-won learning opportunity as they would cherish their own eyes."
The 11th Panchen Lama also visited the scriptures debating area to observe the debates of students in the academy. When he witnessed a fierce debate, he immediately went to sit down near the responder in order to hear the content of the debate more clearly and he also commented on it with the monks around him from time to time.
The Buddhist Academy of Tibet.
Students of the Buddhist Academy of Tibet line up to welcome the 11th Panchen Lama.
The 11th Panchen Lama scatters highland barley after his arrival.
The 11th Panchen Lama leads the monks in chanting sutras.
Drukang Tupdeng Kedrol, dean of the Buddhist Academy of Tibet, leads monks in offering manzha to the 11th Panchen Lama.
Monks chant scriptures at the Buddhist Academy of Tibet.
The 11th Panchen Lama blesses monks.
The 11th Panchen Lama takes a group photo with monks and nuns of the Buddhist Academy of Tibet.
The 11th Panchen Lama says goodbye to the monks and nuns of the Buddhist Academy of Tibet.
The 11th Panchen Lama visits the class of young tulkus.
The 11th Panchen Lama visits monks of the Buddhist Academy of Tibet.
Students of the Buddhist Academy of Tibet debate scriptures.