Situ Panchen Chökyi Jungné

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Situ Paṇchen Chökyi Jungné

Situ Paṇchen Chökyi Jungné (Tib. སི་ཏུ་པཎ་ཆེན་ཆོས་ཀྱི་འབྱུང་གནས་, Wyl. si tu paN chen chos kyi 'byung gnas) (1700-1774) — the Eighth Tai Situ. One of the most influential masters in Tibetan history.


Situ Panchen was born in Dergé on the seventeenth day of the eleventh month of the Earth Hare year. He was recognized as the Situ incarnation by the Eighth Shamarpa.

In 1712, he left Derge and went to study in Central Tibet. He returned to Kham in 1715 and remained there, continuing his studies, until 1721. In 1720 he met Katok Tsewang Norbu for the first time. In 1721 he returned to Central Tibet and spent a year there before travelling to Nepal, together with the Karmapa and Shamarpa. He returned to Tibet in 1724 via Western Tibet.

In 1729, he moved his seat from Karma Gön near Chamdo, to the newly founded Palpung Monastery near Derge, which was constructed under the patronage of the King of Derge, Tenpa Tsering (1678-1738).

From 1731-33, he worked on editing and correcting the woodblocks to be used for printing the Derge edition of the Kangyur.

After this was finished, he concentrated his efforts on revising translations of important Sanskrit works, especially of treatises on grammar and poetry.

In 1735-6, he visited Lhasa in search of Sanskrit manuscripts. He travelled to Nepal again in 1748, and while there he translated the Svayambhupurana on the history and legends surrounding the Swayambhunath stupa. He returned to Kham in 1750. He visited Lhasa again in 1762, and spent the final years of his life travelling throughout Kham. He passed away on the 24th of the second month of the Wood Sheep year (1774).

Through the influence of his friend Katok Tsewang Norbu, he became a follower of the Shentong approach and contributed to its popularity in East Tibet.

Further Reading

  • Kurtis R. Schaeffer, The Culture of the Book in Tibet, Columbia University Press, 2009
  • Situ Paṇchen: His Contribution and Legacy, Lungta 13, Amnye Machen Institute, Summer 2000
  • Smith, E. Gene, 'The Diaries of Si tu Paṇ chen' in Among Tibetan Texts, Wisdom, 2001

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