The Eighth Pakpa Lha, Lobzang Jigme Pelden Tenpai Nyima

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The Eighth Pakpa Lha, Lobzang Jigme Pelden Tenpai Nyima b.1795 - d.1847

Name Variants: Chamdo Trirab 25 Pakpa Lha 08 Lobzang Jigme Pelden Tenpai Nyima ; Lobzang Jigme Pelden Tenpai Nyima

The Eighth Pakpa Lha, Lobzang Jigme Pelden Tenpai Nyima ('phags pa lha 08 blo bzang 'jigs med dpal ldan bstan pa'i nyi ma) was born in 1795, the wood-hare year of the thirteenth sexagenary cycle, in Litang (li thang). His father was Zangri Yugyal (zangs ri gyul rgyal). He was identified as the reincarnation of the Seventh Pakpa Lha, Jigme Tenpai Gonpo ('phags pa lha 07 'jigs med bstan pa'i mgon po, 1755-1794), and the confirmation of the identification was done – via both traditional investigation and the new Qing method of the Golden Urn – by the Eighth Dalai Lama Jampel Gyatso (ta la'i bla ma 08 rgyal ba 'jam dpal rgya mtsho, 1758-1804); the regent, the Eighth Tatsak Lama, Tenpai Gonpo (rta tshag 08 bstan pa'i mgon po, 1760-1810); and the Qing representative in Lhasa, most likely either the sixty-fifth amban Songyun, who served from 1794 to 1799, or the sixty-sixth amban, Yingshan, who served from 1799 to 1803. The final decision was made employing the Golden Urn in front of the statue of Jowo statue in the Jokhang Temple in Lhasa. The report was submitted to the Chinese Emperor, either Qianlong (r. 1736-1795) or Jiaqing (r. 1796-1820), who in return, sent a missive written in gold with special large khatak, a statue of Amitāyus, a coral and sapphire rosary, a bell and vajra, clothing, tea, and so forth.

After having confirmed identification, the young boy was escorted to Jampa Ling Monastery in Chamdo and enthroned to the abbatial seat as the twenty-fifth lineage holder of the monastery. He was given the basic education such as reading and writing, memorization of prayer texts, and other necessary training. He later was admitted to Sera Je College of Sera Monastic University for studies in traditional philosophical and tantric texts. There he studied under a number of outstanding scholars and completed his study with gaining a great scholarship in both sutra and tantra.

The Eighth Pakpa Lha then returned to Chamdo Jampa Ling Monastery and took up his duties as abbot. He gave teachings, empowerments, and initiations, and took responsibility for administration of Monastery and its subordinate monasteries, of which there were at the time around hundred and twenty-five.

After serving as abbot of Chamdo Jampa Ling for forty-three years, in 1847, at the age of fifty-three, in the fire-sheep year in the thirteenth sexagenary, the Eighth Pakpa Lha passed away. Some sources have it that he died at the age of forty-three, but this is not correct.




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

Byams pa chos grags. N.d. Chab mdo byams pa gling gi gdan rabs. Chamdo: Chab mdo par 'debs bzo grwa par btab, pp. 370-372, 521.


Samten Chhosphel
June 2010