The Ninth Pakpa Lha, Ngawang Lobzang Jigme Tenpai Gyeltsen

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The Ninth Pakpa Lha, Ngawang Lobzang Jigme Tenpai Gyeltsen b.1849 - d.1900

Name Variants: Chamdo Trirab 27 Pakpa lha 09 Khedrub Ngawang Lobzang Jigme Tenpai Gyeltsen; Khedrub Ngawang Lobzang Jigme Tenpai Gyeltsen ; Pakpa Khedrub Ngawang Lobzang Jigme Tenpai Gyeltsen

The Ninth Pakpa Lha, Ngawang Lobzang Jigme Tenpai Gyeltsen ('phags pa lha 09 ngag dbang blo bzang 'jigs med bstan pa'i rgyal mtshan) was born in 1848, the earth-bird year of the fourteenth sexagenary cycle. He was identified as the reincarnation of the Eighth Pakpa Lha, Lobzang Jigme Pelden Tenpai Nyima ('phags pa lha 08 blo bzang 'jigs med dpal ldan bstan pa'i nyi ma, 1795-1847) in 1852. The Eleventh Dalai Lama, Khedrub Gyatso (ta la'i bla ma 11 mkhas grub rgya mtsho, 1838-1856) was requested to confirm the recognition, The Dalai Lama in turn had his decision affirmed by the regent, Reting Ngawang Yeshi Tsultrim Gyeltsen (srid skyong rwa sgreng ngag dbang ye shes tshul khrims rgyal mtshan, 1816-1863) and the Qing representative in Lhasa, the amban (possibly the 120th, the 123rd, 124th, 125th, or 126th). The regent and the amban employed the Golden Urn in front of the Jowo statue in the Jokhang, as mandated by the Qing court. Their results were sent to Beijing and to Jampa Ling Monastery in Chamdo.

In late 1852, on the twenty-second day of the ninth month of the water-mouse year, the Ninth Pakpa Lha was placed on that abbot's seat. The Xianfong Emperor sent his congratulations and gifts, including a statue of Amitāyus, texts, a heavily ornamented silver stupa, and a rosary of red coral and pearls.

Unlike his predecessors the Ninth Pakpa Lha trained at Chamdo rather than in Lhasa, learning reading and writing and undergoing his advanced studies in the traditional sutra and tantra. He took the formal responsibility for the monastery in 1862, a year before the death of his predecessor, the Fifth Zhiwa Lha, Lobzang Dondrub Gyatso (zhi ba lha 05 blo bzang don grub rgya mtsho, 1800-1863) the twenty-sixth abbot of the monastery. He was called to mediate certain disputes in the region, including a conflict between Chamdo and Drayab (brag gyab) and also was involved in several military actions. In 1866 he aided local Qing officials in putting down a revolt against the Chinese Emperor. The Tongzhi Emperor awarded him the title Khutukhtu along with the silver seal. A close relative who was also involved in the suppression of the revolt named Kelzang Namgyel (sku tsha skal bzang rnam rgyal, d.u.) was elevated in rank. Whether or not this "rebel" was the infamous Gonpo Namgyel (mgon po rnam rgyal) from Nyarong (nyag rong) who sought to conquer all of Kham is unclear.

The Ninth Pakpa Lha had a large clay and gold statue of Maitreya constructed for the Maitreya Temple in the monastery's Lingme College.

On a trip to Lhasa near the end of the nineteenth century, the Ninth Pakpa Lha found that the Thirteenth Dalai Lama, Tubten Gyatso (ta la'i bla ma 13 thub bstan rgya mtsho, 1876-1933), was ill. He organized prayers and rituals for his recovery and then continued on pilgrimage to Samye (bsam yas) Monastery. He passed away there in the year 1900, the iron-mouse year of the fifteenth sexagenary cycle, at the age of fifty-two.




Anonymous. 1986. Bod kyi lo rgyus rig gnas dpyad gzhi'i rgyu cha gdams bsgrigs. Beijing: Mi rigs dpe skrun khang. Vol. 9, pp. 149-153.

Byams pa chos grags. N.d. Chab mdo byams pa gling gi gdan rabs. Chamdo: Chab mdo par 'debs bzo grwa par btab, pp. 373-376, 521.


Samten Chhosphel
June 2010