The 14th Dalai Lama

The 14th Dalai Lama : Tenzin Gyatso, born Lhamo Dondrub,6 July 1935 is the 14th and current Dalai Lama . Dalai Lamas are the most influential figures in the Gelugpa lineage of Tibetan Buddhism, although the 14th has consolidated control over the other lineages in recent years. He won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989, and is also well known for his lifelong advocacy for Tibetans inside and outside Tibet. Tibetans traditionally believe him to be the reincarnation of his predecessors and a manifestation of the Bodhisattva of Compassion.

His Holiness the XIVth Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso,  the spiritual and temporal leader of the Tibetan people. He was born in a small village called Takster in northeastern Tibet. Born to a peasant family, His Holiness was recognized at the age of two, in accordance with Tibetan tradition, as the reincarnation of his predecessor the 13th Dalai Lama. The Dalai Lamas are the manifestations of the Bodhisattva of Compassion, who chose to reincarnate to serve the people. Dalai Lama means Ocean of Wisdom. Tibetans normally refer to His Holiness as Yeshin Norbu, the Wish-fulfilling Gem, or simply, Kundun, meaning The Presence.

Education in Tibet

He began his education at the age of six and completed the Geshe Lharampa Degree (Doctorate of Buddhist Philosophy) when he was 25. At 24, he took the preliminary examination at each of the three monastic universities: Drepung, Sera and Ganden. The final examination was held in the Jokhang, Lhasa, during the annual Monlam Festival of Prayer, held in the first month of every year. In the morning he was examined by 30 scholars on logic. In the afternoon, he debated with 15 scholars on the subject of the Middle Path, and in the evening, 35 scholars tested his knowledge of the canon of monastic discipline and the study of metaphysics. His Holiness passed the examinations with honours, conducted before a vast audience of monk scholars.

Leadership Responsibilities

In 1950, at 16, His Holiness was called upon to assume full political power as Head of State and Government when Tibet was threatened by the might of China. In 1954 he went to Peking to talk with Mao Tse-Tung and other Chinese leaders, including Chou En-Lai and Deng Xiaoping. In 1956, while visiting India to attend the 2500th Buddha Jayanti, he had a series of meetings with Prime Minister Nehru and Premier Chou about deteriorating conditions in Tibet. In 1959 he was forced into exile in India after the Chinese military occupation of Tibet. Since 1960 he has resided in Dharamsala, aptly known as “Little Lhasa”, the seat of the Tibetan Government-in-Exile.

In the early years of exile, His Holiness appealed to the United Nations on the question of Tibet, resulting in three resolutions adopted by the General Assembly in 1959, 1961 and 1965. In 1963, His Holiness promulgated a draft constitution for Tibet which assures a democratic form of government. In the last two decades, His Holiness has set up educational, cultural and religious institutions which have made major contributions towards the preservation of the Tibetan identity and its rich heritage. He has given many teachings and initiations, including the rare Kalachakra Initiation, which he has conducted more than any of his predecessors.

His Holiness continues to present new initiatives to resolve the Tibetan issues. At the Congressional Human Rights Caucus in 1987 he proposed a Five-Point Peace Plan as a first step towards resolving the future status of Tibet. This plan calls for the designation of Tibet as a zone of peace, an end to the massive transfer of ethnic Chinese into Tibet, restoration of fundamental human rights and democratic freedoms and the abandonment of China’s use of Tibet for nuclear weapons production and the dumping of nuclear waste, as well as urging “earnest negotiations” on the future of Tibet and relations between the Tibetan and Chinese people. In Strasbourg, France, on June 15, 1988, he elaborated on this Five-Point Peace Plan and proposed the creation of a self-governing democratic Tibet, “in association with the People’s Republic of China.” In his address, the Dalai Lama said that this represented “the most realistic means by which to re-establish Tibet’s separate identity and restore the fundamental rights of the Tibetan people while accommodating China’s own interests.” His Holiness emphasized that “whatever the outcome of the negotiations with the Chinese may be, the Tibetan people themselves must be the ultimate deciding authority.”

Quotes by the Dalai Lama

Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.
Dalai Lama

Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.
Dalai Lama

I find hope in the darkest of days, and focus in the brightest. I do not judge the universe.
Dalai Lama

If you can, help others; if you cannot do that, at least do not harm them.
Dalai Lama

If you have a particular faith or religion, that is good. But you can survive without it.
Dalai Lama

If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.
Dalai Lama

In the practice of tolerance, one’s enemy is the best teacher.
Dalai Lama

It is necessary to help others, not only in our prayers, but in our daily lives. If we find we cannot help others, the least we can do is to desist from harming them.
Dalai Lama

It is very important to generate a good attitude, a good heart, as much as possible. From this, happiness in both the short term and the long term for both yourself and others will come.
Dalai Lama

Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them humanity cannot survive.
Dalai Lama

My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness.
Dalai Lama

Advertisements

One thought on “The 14th Dalai Lama

  1. Pingback: DVD Review: A Message of Peace & Compassion with His Holiness the Dalai Lama « The Trough

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s