The 11th Panchen Lama, Bainqen Erdini Qoigyijabu, a spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism, arrived at the Jokhang Temple around 6 a.m., greeted by lamas lined up at the temple gates and holding Tibetan incense.
The 23-year-old visited the temple's major halls, paid homage and presented his own hada, a long and scarf-like white silk used by the Tibetans for blessings, to statues of Buddhas, especially Jokhang's house treasure -- a statue of Buddha Sakyamuni brought to the temple by Princess Wencheng of the Tang Dynasty in the seventh century.
It was before this statue in November 1995 that the current Panchen Lama, whose secular name is Gyaencaen Norbu, was chosen as the reincarnation of the 10th Panchen Erdeni through the traditional method of drawing lots from a golden urn.
The Panchen Lama also led a 30-minute sutra-chanting service with 100 lamas at the temple, praying for harvests, prosperity and stability. It was followed by a head-touching ritual to bless the lamas.
The Panchen Lama, who arrived in Lhasa on Tuesday, will hold several more Buddhist activities in the holy city of Tibetan Buddhism.
The Panchen Lama serves as vice president of the Buddhist Association of China and as a member of the Standing Committee of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, the country's top political advisory body.