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The Panchen Lamas are an important tulku, or reincarnated lama lineage, in Tibet considered second in prestige within the Geluk tradition only to the Dalai Lamas. The Fifth Dalai Lama (1617–1682) declared that his tutor Lobzang Chokyi Gyeltsen (1570–1662) was the incarnation of Amitabha and granted him the title Panchen. Three “pre-incarnations” were identified, making Lobzang Chokyi Gyeltsen formally the fourth in the lineage. A special teacher-student relationship exists between the Dalai and Panchen lamas, when one passes away the other takes charge of identifying and educating the new incarnation. The traditional seat of the Panchen Lamas is Tashilhunpo Monastery in Shigatse.
great pandita [scholar] gurus