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Dalai Lama
His Holiness
1st Dalai Lama.jpg
Gendun Drup, 1st Dalai Lama
Reign 1391-1474
Tibetan ཏཱ་ལའི་བླ་མ་
Wylie transliteration taa la’i bla ma
Pronunciation [taːlɛː lama]
THDL Dalai Lama
Pinyin Chinese Dálài Lǎmā
Royal House Dalai Lama

The Dalai Lama (Tibetan: ཏཱ་ལའི་བླ་མ་Wylie: taa la’i bla ma; Chinese: 達賴喇嘛;达赖喇嘛pinyin: Dálài Lǎmā) is a lineage of religious officials of the Gelug sect of Tibetan Buddhism. The name is a combination of the Mongolian word Далай "Dalai" meaning "Ocean" and the Tibetan word བླ་མ ་"Blama" (with a silent b) meaning "chief" or "high priest."[1] "Lama" is a general term referring to Tibetan Buddhist teachers. In religious terms, the Dalai Lama is believed by his devotees to be the rebirth of a long line of tulkus who descend from the bodhisattva Avalokiteśvara. Traditionally, His Holiness is thought of as the latest reincarnation of a series of spiritual leaders who have chosen to be reborn in order to enlighten others. The Dalai Lama is often thought to be the director of the Gelug School, but this position belongs officially to the Ganden Tripa, which is a temporary position appointed by the Dalai Lama who, in practice, exerts much influence.

Between the 17th century and 1959, the Dalai Lamas were the directors of the Tibetan Government, administering a large portion of the area from the capital Lhasa, although the extent of that lineage's historical authority, legitimacy and claim to territory has been recently contested for political reasons. Since 1959, the Dalai Lama has been president of the Tibetan government-in-exile, or Central Tibetan Administration (CTA).

Contents

Nomenclature

The current Dalai Lama is sometimes called "His Holiness" (HH) by Westerners (by analogy with the Pope), although this does not translate to a Tibetan title.

"Dalai" (Далай) means "Ocean" in Mongolian, and is a translation of the Tibetan name རྒྱ་མཚོ་ "Gyatso," while "Lama" is the Tibetan equivalent of the Sanskrit word "guru." Putting the terms together, the full title is "Ocean Teacher" meaning a teacher who is spiritually as great as the ocean. The name is often mistranslated as "Ocean of Wisdom."

"The Institution of the Dalai Lama" by R. N. Rahul Sheel in The Tibet Journal, Vol. XIV No. 3. Autumn 1989, pp. 19-32 says on pp. 31-32, n. 1: "The word Dalai is Mongolian for "ocean", used mainly by the Chinese, the Mongols, and foreigners. Rgya mtsho, the corresponding Tibetan word, always has formed the last part of the religious name of the Dalai Lama since Dalai Lama II [sic – should read Dalai Lama III]. The expression Lama (བླ་མ; Bla ma) means the "superior one". Western usage has taken it to mean the "priest" of the Buddhism of Tibet. The term Dalai Lama, therefore, means "Ocean of Wisdom."[2]

Before the 20th century, European sources often referred to the Dalai Lama as the "Grand Lama". For example, in 1795 Benjamin Franklin Bache mocked George Washington by terming him the "Grand Lama of this Country".[3] Some in the West believed the Dalai Lama to be worshipped by the Tibetans as the godhead.[4]

History

During 1252, Kublai Khan granted an audience to Drogön Chögyal Phagpa and Karma Pakshi, the 2nd Karmapa. Karma Pakshi, however, sought the patronage of Möngke Khan. Before his death in 1283, Karma Pakshi wrote a will to protect the established interests of his sect by advising his disciples to locate a boy to inherit the black hat. His instruction was based on the premise that Buddhist ideology is eternal, and that Buddha would send emanations to complete the missions he had initiated. Karma Pakshi's disciples acted in accordance with the will and located the reincarnated boy of their master. The event was the beginning of the teacher reincarnation system for the Black-Hat Line of Tibetan Buddhism. During the Ming Dynasty, Emperor Yongle bestowed the title Great Treasure Prince of Dharma, the first of the three Princes of Dharma, upon the Black-Hat Karmapa. Various sects of Tibetan Buddhism responded to the teacher reincarnation system by creating similar lineages.

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The origin of the title of Dalai Lama

During 1578 the Mongol ruler Altan Khan bestowed what would later become the title Dalai Lama on Sonam Gyatso, which was also later applied retroactively to the two predecessors in his reincarnation line, Gendun Drup and Gendun Gyatso. Gendun Gyatso was also Sonam Gyatso's predecessor as abbot of Drepung monastery. However, the 14th Dalai Lama asserts that Altan Khan did not intend to bestow a title as such and that he intended only to translate the name "Sonam Gyatso" into Mongolian.

As journalist Thomas Laird explains:[5]

. . . many writers have mistranslated Dalai Lama as "Ocean of Wisdom." The full Mongolian title, "the wonderful Vajradhara, good splendid meritorious ocean," given by Altan Khan, is primarily a translation of the Tibetan words Sonam Gyatso (sonam is "merit").

The 14th Dalai Lama remarks:[6]

The very name of each Dalai Lama from the Second Dalai Lama onwards had the word Gyatso [in it], which means "ocean" in Tibetan. Even now I am Tenzin Gyatso, so the first name is changing but the second part [the word "ocean"] became like part of each Dalai Lama's name. All of the Dalai Lamas, since the Second, have this name. So I don't really agree that the Mongols actually conferred a title. It was just a translation.

Whatever the intention may have been originally, the Mongolian "Dalai", which does not have any meaning as a Tibetan term, came to be understood commonly as a title.

The name or title Dalai Lama in Mongolian may also have derived originally from the title taken by Temüjin or Genghis Khan when he was proclaimed emperor of a united Mongolia during 1206. Temüjin took the name Čingis Qāghan or "oceanic sovereign", the Anglicized version of which is Genghis Khan.[7]

Tibetans address the Dalai Lama as Gyalwa Rinpoche ('Precious Victor'), Kundun ('Presence') Yishin Norbu ('Wishfulfilling Gem'), and so on.[8]

Sonam Gyatso was an Abbot at the Drepung Monastery who was considered widely as one of the most eminent lamas of his time. Although Sonam Gyatso became the first lama to have the title "Dalai Lama" as described above, since he was the third member of his lineage, he became known as the "Third Dalai Lama." The previous two titles were conferred posthumously upon his earlier incarnations.

Yonten Gyatso (1589 – 1616), the 4th Dalai Lama and a non-Tibetan, was the grandson of Altan Khan.

Verhaegen (2002: p. 5-6) states that the tulku tradition of the Dalai Lama has evolved into, and been inaugurated as, an institution and is recognised as a "cornerstone of Tibetan identity and culture":

The institution of the Dalai Lama has become, over the centuries, a central focus of Tibetan cultural identity; "a symbolic embodiment of the Tibetan national character." Today, the Dalai Lama and the office of the Dalai Lama have become focal points in their struggle towards independence and, more urgently, cultural survival. The Dalai Lama is regarded as the principal incarnation of Chenrezig (referred to as Avalokiteshvara in India), the bodhisattva of compassion and patron deity of Tibet. In that role the Dalai Lama has chosen to use peace and compassion in his treatment of his own people and his oppressors. In this sense the Dalai Lama is the embodiment of an ideal of Tibetan values and a cornerstone of Tibetan identity and culture.[9]

Verhaegen (2002: p. 6) mentions the trans-polity influence that the Institution of the Dalai Lama has had historically in areas such as western China, Mongolia, Ladakh in addition to the other Himalayan Kingdoms:[10]

The Dalai Lamas have also functioned as the principal spiritual guide to many Himalayan kingdoms bordering Tibet, as well as western China, Mongolia and Ladakh. The literary works of the Dalai Lamas have, over the centuries, inspired more than fifty million people in these regions. Those writings, reflecting the fusion of Buddhist philosophy embodied in Tibetan Buddhism, have become one of the world's great repositories of spiritual thought.

Unification of Tibet

In the 1630s, Tibet became entangled in power struggles between the rising Manchu and various Mongol and Oirat factions. Ligden Khan of the Chakhar, retreating from the Manchu, set out to Tibet to destroy the Yellow Hat sect. He died on the way in Koko Nur in 1634 [11]. His vassal Tsogt Taij continued the fight, even having his own son Arslan killed after Arslan changed sides. Tsogt Taij was defeated and killed by Güshi Khan of the Khoshud in 1637, who would in turn become the overlord of Tibet, and act as a "Protector of the Yellow Church"[12]. Güshi helped the Fifth Dalai Lama to establish himself as the highest spiritual and political authority in Tibet and destroyed any potential rivals. The time of the Fifth Dalai Lama was, however, also a period of rich cultural development.

The Fifth Dalai Lama's death was kept secret for fifteen years by the regent (Tibetan: desiWylie: sde-srid), Sanggye Gyatso. This was apparently done so that the Potala Palace could be finished, and to prevent Tibet's neighbours taking advantage of an interregnum in the succession of the Dalai Lamas.[13]

Tsangyang Gyatso, the Sixth Dalai Lama, was not enthroned until 1697. Tsangyang Gyatso enjoyed a lifestyle that included drinking, the company of women, and writing love songs.[14] In 1705, Lobzang Khan of the Khoshud used the sixth Dalai Lama's escapades as excuse to take control of Tibet. The regent was murdered, and the Dalai Lama sent to Beijing. He died on the way, near Koko Nur, ostensibly from illness. Lobzang Khan appointed a new Dalai Lama who, however, was not accepted by the Gelugpa school. Kelzang Gyatso was discovered near Koko Nur and became a rival candidate.

The Dzungars invaded Tibet in 1717, and deposed and killed Lobzang Khan's pretender to the position of Dalai Lama. This was widely approved. However, they soon began to loot the holy places of Lhasa, which brought a swift response from Emperor Kangxi in 1718; but his military expedition was annihilated by the Dzungars, not far from Lhasa.[15][16]

A second, larger, expedition sent by Emperor Kangxi expelled the Dzungars from Tibet in 1720 and the troops were hailed as liberators. They brought Kelzang Gyatso with them from Kumbum to Lhasa and he was installed as the seventh Dalai Lama in 1721.[15][17]

After him [Jamphel Gyatso the VIIIth Dalai Lama (1758-1804)], the IXth and Xth Dalai Lamas died before attaining their majority: one of them is credibly stated to have been murdered and strong suspicion attaches to the other. The XIth and XIIth were each enthroned but died soon after being invested with power. For 113 years, therefore, supreme authority in Tibet was in the hands of a Lama Regent, except for about two years when a lay noble held office and for short periods of nominal rule by the XIth and XIIth Dalai Lamas.

It has sometimes been suggested that this state of affairs was brought about by the Ambans—the Imperial Residents in Tibet—because it would be easier to control the Tibet through a Regent than when a Dalai Lama, with his absolute power, was at the head of the government. That is not true. The regular ebb and flow of events followed its set course. The Imperial Residents in Tibet, after the first flush of zeal in 1750, grew less and less interested and efficient. Tibet was, to them, exile from the urbanity and culture of Peking; and so far from dominating the Regents, the Ambans allowed themselves to be dominated. It was the ambition and greed for power of Tibetans that led to five successive Dalai Lamas being subjected to continuous tutelage.

[18]

Thubten Jigme Norbu, the elder brother of the present 14th Dalai Lama, describes these unfortunate events as follows:[19]

It is perhaps more than a coincidence that between the seventh and the thirteenth holders of that office, only one reached his majority. The eighth, Gyampal Gyatso, died when he was in his thirties, Lungtog Gyatso when he was eleven, Tsultrim Gyatso at eighteen, Khadrup Gyatso when he was eighteen also, and Krinla Gyatso at about the same age. The circumstances are such that it is very likely that some, if not all, were poisoned, either by loyal Tibetans for being Chinese-appointed impostors, or by the Chinese for not being properly manageable.
Throne awaiting Dalai Lama's return. Summer residence of 13th Dalai Lama, Nechung, Tibet.

Thubten Gyatso, the 13th Dalai Lama, assumed ruling power from the monasteries, which previously had great influence on the Regent, during 1895. Due to his two periods of exile in 1904-1909, to escape the British invasion of 1904, and from 1910-1912 to escape a Chinese invasion, he became well aware of the complexities of international politics and was the first Dalai Lama to become aware of the importance of foreign relations. After his return from exile in India and Sikkim during January 1913, he assumed control of foreign relations and dealt directly with the Maharaja and the British Political officer in Sikkim and the king of Nepal rather than letting the Kashag or parliament do it.[20]

Thubten Gyatso issued a Declaration of Independence from China during the summer of 1912 and standardised the Tibetan flag to its present form.[21] He deported all Chinese residents in the country, including the Ambans, and instituted many measures to modernise Tibet.[22]Thubten Gyatso died in 1933. The 14th Dalai Lama, was not formally enthroned until 17 November 1950, during the People's Republic of China invasion.

After the Chinese assumed complete control in 1959, the 14th Dalai Lama fled to India and has since ceded temporal power to an elected government-in-exile. The current 14th Dalai Lama seeks greater autonomy for Tibet.

Residence

Starting with the 5th Dalai Lama and until the 14th Dalai Lama's flight into exile during 1959, the Dalai Lamas spent the winter at the Potala Palace and the summer at the Norbulingka palace and park. Both are in Lhasa and approximately 3 km apart.

During 1959, after the start of the Chinese occupation of Tibet, the 14th Dalai Lama sought refuge in India. The then Indian Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, was instrumental in granting safe refuge to the Dalai Lama and his fellow Tibetans. The Dalai Lama has since lived in exile in Dharamsala, in the state of Himachal Pradesh in northern India, where the Central Tibetan Administration (the Tibetan government-in-exile) is also established. Tibetan refugees have constructed and opened many schools and Buddhist temples in Dharamsala.[23]

Searching for the reincarnation

The search for the 14th Dalai Lama took the High Lamas to Taktser in Amdo
Palden Lhamo, the female guardian spirit of the sacred lake, Lhamo La-tso, who promised Gendun Drup the 1st Dalai Lama in one of his visions that "she would protect the reincarnation lineage of the Dalai Lamas"

By the Himalayan tradition, phowa (Tibetan) is the discipline that transfers the mindstream to the intended body. Upon the death of the Dalai Lama and consultation with the Nechung Oracle, a search for the Lama's reincarnation, or yangsi (yang srid), is conducted. Traditionally it has been the responsibility of the High Lamas of the Gelugpa Tradition and the Tibetan government to find his reincarnation. The process can take around two or three years to identify the Dalai Lama, and for the 14th, Tenzin Gyatso it was four years before he was found. The search for the Dalai Lama has usually been limited historically to Tibet, although the third tulku was born in Mongolia. Tenzin Gyatso, though, has stated that there is a chance that he will not be reborn although if he is reborn it will not be in a country possessed by the People's Republic of China.[24] The High Lamas used several ways in which they can increase the chances of finding the reincarnation. High Lamas often visit the holy lake, called Lhamo La-tso, in central Tibet and watch for a sign from the lake itself. This may be either a vision or some indication of the direction in which to search and this was how Tenzin Gyatso was found. It is said that Palden Lhamo, the female guardian spirit of the sacred lake, Lhamo La-tso, promised Gendun Drup, the 1st Dalai Lama in one of his visions "that she would protect the reincarnation lineage of the Dalai Lamas." Ever since the time of Gendun Gyatso, the 2nd Dalai Lama, who formalised the system, the Regents and other monks have gone to the lake to seek guidance on choosing the next reincarnation through visions while meditating there.[25]

The particular form of Palden Lhamo at Lhamo La-tso is Gyelmo Maksorma, "The Victorious One who Turns Back Enemies". The lake is sometimes referred to as "Pelden Lhamo Kalideva", which indicates that Palden Lhamo is an emanation of the goddess Kali, the shakti of the Hindu God Śhiva.[26]

Lhamo Latso ... [is] a brilliant azure jewel set in a ring of grey mountains. The elevation and the surrounding peaks combine to give it a highly changeable climate, and the continuous passage of cloud and wind creates a constantly moving pattern on the surface of the waters. On that surface visions appear to those who seek them in the right frame of mind.[27]

It was here that during 1935, the Regent, Reting Rinpoche, received a clear vision of three Tibetan letters and of a monastery with a jade-green and gold roof, and a house with turquoise roof tiles, which led to the discovery of Tenzin Gyatso, the present 14th Dalai Lama.[28][29][30]

High Lamas may also have a vision by a dream or if the Dalai Lama was cremated, they will often monitor the direction of the smoke as an indication of the direction of the rebirth.[24]

Once the High Lamas have found the home and the boy they believe to be the reincarnation, the boy undergoes a series of tests to affirm the rebirth. They present a number of artefacts, only some of which belonged to the previous Dalai Lama, and if the boy chooses the items which belonged to the previous Dalai Lama, this is seen as a sign, in conjunction with all of the other indications, that the boy is the reincarnation.

If there is only one boy found, the High Lamas will invite Living Buddhas of the three great monasteries together with secular clergy and monk officials, to confirm their findings and will then report to the Central Government through the Minister of Tibet. Later a group consisting of the three major servants of Dalai Lama, eminent officials and troops will collect the boy and his family and travel to Lhasa, where the boy would be taken, usually to Drepung Monastery to study the Buddhist sutra in preparation for assuming the role of spiritual leader of Tibet.[24]

However, if there are several possibilities of the reincarnation, in the past regents and eminent officials and monks at the Jokhang in Lhasa, and the Minister to Tibet would decide on the individual by putting the boys' names inside an urn and drawing one lot in public if it was too difficult to judge the reincarnation initially.[31]

List of Dalai Lamas

This article contains Chinese text. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Chinese characters.
This article contains Indic text. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks or boxes, misplaced vowels or missing conjuncts instead of Indic text.

There have been 14 recognised reincarnations of the Dalai Lama:

Name Picture Lifespan Recognised Reign Tibetan/Wylie PRC transcription (Chinese transcription) Alternative spellings
1 Gendun Drup 1stDalaiLama.jpg 1391–1474 N/A[32] དགེ་འདུན་འགྲུབ་
dge ‘dun ‘grub
Gêdün Chub (根敦朱巴) Gedun Drub
Gedün Drup
Gendun Drup
2 Gendun Gyatso 2Dalai.jpg 1475–1542 1492–1542[32] དགེ་འདུན་རྒྱ་མཚོ་
dge 'dun rgya mtsho
Gêdün Gyaco (根敦嘉措) Gedün Gyatso
Gendün Gyatso
3 Sonam Gyatso 3rdDalaiLama.jpg 1543–1588  ? 1578–1588 བསོད་ནམས་རྒྱ་མཚོ་
bsod nams rgya mtsho
Soinam Gyaco (索南嘉措) Sönam Gyatso
4 Yonten Gyatso 4DalaiLama.jpg 1589–1617  ? 1601–1617 ཡོན་ཏན་རྒྱ་མཚོ་
yon tan rgya mtsho
Yoindain Gyaco (雲丹嘉措) Yontan Gyatso
5 Ngawang Lobsang Gyatso NgawangLozangGyatso.jpg 1617–1682 1618 1642–1682 བློ་བཟང་རྒྱ་མཚོ་
blo bzang rgya mtsho
Lobsang Gyaco (羅桑嘉措) Lobzang Gyatso
Lopsang Gyatso
6 Tsangyang Gyatso 6DalaiLama.jpg 1683–1706 1688 1697–1706 ཚངས་དབྱངས་རྒྱ་མཚོ་
tshang dbyangs rgya mtsho
Cangyang Gyaco (倉央嘉措)
7 Kelzang Gyatso 7DalaiLama.jpg 1708–1757  ? 1720–1757 བསྐལ་བཟང་རྒྱ་མཚོ་
bskal bzang rgya mtsho
Gaisang Gyaco (格桑嘉措) Kelsang Gyatso
Kalsang Gyatso
8 Jamphel Gyatso 8thDalaiLama.jpg 1758–1804 1760 1762–1804 བྱམས་སྤེལ་རྒྱ་མཚོ་
byams spel rgya mtsho
Qambê Gyaco (強白嘉措) Jampel Gyatso
Jampal Gyatso
9 Lungtok Gyatso 9thDalaiLama.jpg 1805–1815 1807 1810–1815 ལུང་རྟོགས་རྒྱ་མཚོ་
lung rtogs rgya mtsho
Lungdog Gyaco (隆朵嘉措) Lungtog Gyatso
10 Tsultrim Gyatso 10thDalaiLama.jpg 1816–1837 1822 1826–1837 ཚུལ་ཁྲིམས་རྒྱ་མཚོ་
tshul khrim rgya mtsho
Cüchim Gyaco (楚臣嘉措) Tshültrim Gyatso
11 Khendrup Gyatso 11thDalaiLama1.jpg 1838–1856 1841 1842–1856 མཁས་གྲུབ་རྒྱ་མཚོ་
mkhas grub rgya mtsho
Kaichub Gyaco (凱珠嘉措) Kedrub Gyatso
12 Trinley Gyatso 12thDalai Lama.jpg 1857–1875 1858 1860–1875 འཕྲིན་ལས་རྒྱ་མཚོ་
'phrin las rgya mtsho
Chinlai Gyaco (成烈嘉措) Trinle Gyatso
13 Thubten Gyatso DalaiLama-13 lg.jpg 1876–1933 1878 1879–1933 ཐུབ་བསྟན་རྒྱ་མཚོ་
thub bstan rgya mtsho
Tubdain Gyaco (土登嘉措) Thubtan Gyatso
Thupten Gyatso
14 Tenzin Gyatso Tenzin Gyatzo foto 1.jpg born 1935 1937 1950–present
(currently in exile)
བསྟན་འཛིན་རྒྱ་མཚོ་
bstan 'dzin rgya mtsho
Dainzin Gyaco (丹增嘉措) Tenzing Gyatso

There has also been one nonrecognised Dalai Lama, Ngawang Yeshe Gyatso, declared during 1707, when he was 25 years old, by the Dzungars as the "true" 6th Dalai Lama - but never accepted as such by the majority of the population.

Future of the position

The 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso in 2007
The main teaching room of the Dalai Lama in Dharamsala, India

Verhaegen (2002: p. 5) states:

In the mid-1970s Tenzin Gyatso, The Fourteenth Dalai Lama, told a Polish newspaper that he thought he would be the last Dalai Lama. In a later interview published in the English language press he stated "The Dalai Lama office was an institution created to benefit others. It is possible that it will soon have outlived its usefulness."[33] These statements caused a furor amongst Tibetans in India. Many could not believe that such an option could even be considered. It was further felt that it was not the Dalai Lama's decision to reincarnate. Rather, they felt that since the Dalai Lama is a national institution it was up to the people of Tibet to decide whether or not (sic) the Dalai Lama should reincarnate.[34]

Despite its officially secular stance, the government of the People's Republic of China (PRC) has claimed the power to approve the naming of "high" reincarnations in Tibet, based on a precedent set by the Qianlong Emperor of the Qing Dynasty. The Qianlong Emperor was said to have instituted a system of selecting the Dalai Lama and the Panchen Lama by a lottery that used a golden urn with names wrapped in clumps of barley. This method is unrelated to the traditional means of identifying incarnations used by the Tibetans for centuries. Controversially, this precedent was used by the PRC to name their own Panchen Lama. The Dalai Lama and the Tibetan Buddhists in exile do not regard PRC's Panchen Lama to be the legitimate Panchen Lama; instead recognizing a different child, Gedhun Choekyi Nyima, as the reincarnated Panchen Lama. This child and his family have been taken into 'protective custody' according to the PRC, although there has not been any mention of from what or whom the child must be protected. Nyima has been missing since May 17, 1995.[35] All attempts by members of the EU parliament and US government to garner guarantees of the family's safety have been denied by the PRC.

During September 2007 the Chinese government said all high monks must be approved by the government, which would include the selection of the 15th Dalai Lama after the death of Tenzin Gyatso. The People's Republic of China may attempt to direct the selection of a successor using the authority of their Panchen Lama.

In response to this scenario, Tashi Wangdi, the representative of the 14th Dalai Lama, replied that the Chinese government's selection would be meaningless. "You can’t impose an Imam, an Archbishop, saints, any religion...you can’t politically impose these things on people," said Wangdi. "It has to be a decision of the followers of that tradition. The Chinese can use their political power: force. Again, it’s meaningless. Like their Panchen Lama. And they can’t keep their Panchen Lama in Tibet. They tried to bring him to his monastery many times but people would not see him. How can you have a religious leader like that?"[36]

The Dalai Lama said as early as 1969 that it was for the Tibetans to decide whether the institution of the Dalai Lama "should continue or not."[37] He has given reference to a possible vote occurring in the future for all Tibetan Buddhists to decide whether they wish to recognize his rebirth.[38] In response to the possibility that the PRC may attempt to choose his successor, the Dalai Lama has said he will not be reborn in a country controlled by the People's Republic of China or any other country which is not free.[39][40]

During 2007, two monks from Tashilhunpo monastery of Tibet committed suicide soon after the beginning of a campaign of exclusion by Chinese officials.[41] These two monks had recognised the 11th Panchen Lama, Gedhun Choekyi Nyima, and could therefore have been requested to recognise the next Dalai Lama.[42][43]

On March 10, 2009, the Dalai Lama criticised China for oppressing his people and misrepresenting his wish for Tibetan autonomy. He warned Tibetans to prepare themselves “in case our struggle goes on for a long time". The Dalai Lama also spoke of his own exile, and that of the 90,000 Tibetans who followed him, as a period of “unimaginable hardship, which is still fresh in the Tibetan memory.”[44]

Introduction of the Dalai Lama into popular Western culture

Because of the political and geographical isolation of Tibet, there was little mention of the persona of the Dalai Lama or Tibet in mainstream popular Western culture before the Invasion of Tibet (1950–1951).

The earliest New York Times mention of the Dalai Lama was in a July 8, 1853 article entitled "The Fate of Asia", where the Dalai Lama was mentioned once by name[45] in the context of larger nations seeking territory and influence in Asia. A March 3, 1878 Times article entitled "Choosing the Dalai Lama" describes the process during 1841 of finding the new Dalai Lama and choosing between four child candidates.

In the February 11, 1924 issue of Time magazine, in an article entitled "Everest Assault",[46] the Dalai Lama is mentioned as giving permission to British army officers in their attempt to scale Mount Everest.

During the early 1940s, the United States Army managed an expedition to Tibet, as directed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, to bring gifts to the Dalai Lama, and to strengthen the relationship between the United States and Tibet during the Second World War. This expedition was documented on colour 16 mm film by the United States Army.

Universal Newsreels, which screened feature film presentations in American movie theatres through the late 1960s, produced newsreel segments describing the Dalai Lama to American audiences during the 1950s before the 1950 invasion of Tibet by China, as well as reporting on the invasion of Tibet itself. There were also Universal Newsreels reporting on the 1959 fleeing of the 14th Dalai Lama into Northern India. Once in India he told about what he had seen including the destruction of monasteries.[47]

The Dalai Lama was on the cover of Time magazine on April 20, 1959, with the headline "The Escape that Rocked the Reds".

After the 14th Dalai Lama (Tenzin Gyatso) won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989, the public awareness of the Dalai Lama became even more prevalent, and the Dalai Lama became the subject of several motion pictures, including Seven Years in Tibet starring Brad Pitt, Martin Scorsese's feature film Kundun, as well as documentary films like the 2008 theatrically released Dalai Lama Renaissance,[48] narrated by Harrison Ford.

See also

Footnotes

  1. ^ http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=lama
  2. ^ Art Hughes (2001-05-07). "The Thirteen Previous Dalai Lamas". Part of MPR's special report, Ocean of Wisdom: The Dalai Lama's Visit (Minnesota Public Radio). http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200105/07_newsroom_dalai/bios.shtml. 
  3. ^ Pennsylvania Aurora. August 1795.
  4. ^ Nicolas Jovet. L'histoire des religions de tous les royaumes du monde. 1710. pp. 553-555.
  5. ^ Laird, Thomas (2006). The Story of Tibet: Conversations with the Dalai Lama, pp. 142. Grove Press, New York. ISBN 978-0-8021-827-1.
  6. ^ Laird, Thomas (2006). The Story of Tibet: Conversations with the Dalai Lama, pp. 143. Grove Press, New York. ISBN 978-0-8021-827-1.
  7. ^ Roux, Jean-Paul. (2003). Genghis Khan and the Mongol Empire, p. 25. Trans from the French by Toula Balas. Thames & Hudson. London. ISBN 0-500-30113-1.
  8. ^ Sheel, R. N. Rahul. "The Institution of the Dalai Lama." The Tibet Journal, Vol. XIV No. 3. Autumn 1989, p. 23.
  9. ^ Verhaegen, Ardy (2002). The Dalai Lamas: The Institution and Its History. Emerging Perceptions in Buddhist Studies, no. 15. New Delhi, India: D. K. Printworld (P) Ltd. ISBN 81-246-0202-6. p.5-6.
  10. ^ Verhaegen, Ardy (2002). The Dalai Lamas: The Institution and Its History. Emerging Perceptions in Buddhist Studies, no. 15. New Delhi, India: D. K. Printworld (P) Ltd. ISBN 81-246-0202-6. p.6
  11. ^ Michael Weiers, Geschichte der Mongolen, Stuttgart 2004, p.182f
  12. ^ Rene Grousset, The Empire of the Steppes, New Brunswick 1970, p. 522
  13. ^ Laird 2006, pp. 181-182
  14. ^ Karenina Kollmar-Paulenz, Kleine Geschichte Tibets, München 2006, pp. 109-122.
  15. ^ a b Richardson, Hugh E. (1984). Tibet and its History. Second Edition, Revised and Updated, pp. 48-9. Shambhala. Boston & London. ISBN 0-87773-376-7 (pbk)
  16. ^ Stein 1972, p. 85
  17. ^ Schirokauer, 242
  18. ^ Richardson, Hugh E. (1984). Tibet and its History. Second Edition, Revised and Updated, pp. 59-60. Shambhala. Boston & London. ISBN 0-87773-376-7 (pbk)
  19. ^ Norbu, Thubten Jigme and Turnbull, Colin M. (1968). Tibet: An account of the history, the religion and the people of Tibet. Reprint: Touchstone Books. New York. ISBN 0-671-20559-5, p. 311.
  20. ^ Sheel, R. N. Rahul. "The Institution of the Dalai Lama." The Tibet Journal, Vol. XIV No. 3. Autumn 1989, pp. 24 and 29.
  21. ^ Sheel, R. N. Rahul. "The Institution of the Dalai Lama." The Tibet Journal, Vol. XIV No. 3. Autumn 1989, p. 20.
  22. ^ Norbu, Thubten Jigme and Turnbull, Colin M. (1968). Tibet: An account of the history, the religion and the people of Tibet. Reprint: Touchstone Books. New York. ISBN 0-671-20559-5, pp. 314, 318.
  23. ^ "Dispatches from the Tibetan Front: Dharamsala, India," Litia Perta, The Brooklyn Rail, April 4, 2008
  24. ^ a b c "Religion and Ethics:Buddhism". BBC. http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religions/buddhism/people/dalailama_1.shtml. Retrieved 2008-05-17. 
  25. ^ Laird, Thomas (2006). The Story of Tibet: Conversations with the Dalai Lama, pp. 139, 264-265. Grove Press, N.Y. ISBN 978-0-8021-827-1.
  26. ^ Dowman, Keith. (1988). The Power-Places of Central Tibet: The Pilgrim's Guide, p. 260. Routledge & Kegan Paul Ltd., London. ISBN 0-7102-1370-0 (pbk).
  27. ^ Hilton, Isabel. (1999). The Search for the Panchen Lama. Viking Books. Reprint: Penguin Books. (2000), pp. 39-40. ISBN 0-14-024670-3.
  28. ^ Laird, Thomas (2006). The Story of Tibet: Conversations with the Dalai Lama, p. 139. Grove Press, N.Y. ISBN 978-0-8021-827-1.
  29. ^ Norbu, Thubten Jigme and Turnbull, Colin M. (1968). Tibet: An account of the history, the religion and the people of Tibet, pp. 228-230. Reprint: Touchstone Books. New York. ISBN 0-671-20559-5, p. 311.
  30. ^ Hilton, Isabel. (1999). The Search for the Panchen Lama. Viking Books. Reprint: Penguin Books. (2000), p. 42. ISBN 0-14-024670-3.
  31. ^ "Dalai Lama’s confirmation of reincarnation". Tibet Travel info. http://www.tibettravel.info/tibetan-buddhism/confirmation-of-reincarnation.html. Retrieved 2008-05-17. 
  32. ^ a b The title "Dalai Lama" was conferred posthumously to the 1st and 2nd Dalai Lamas.
  33. ^ Glenn H. Mullin, "Faces of the Dalai Lama: Reflections on the Man and the Tradition", Quest, vol.6, no.3, Autumn 1993, p.80.
  34. ^ Verhaegen, Ardy (2002). The Dalai Lamas: The Institution and Its History. Emerging Perceptions in Buddhist Studies, no. 15. New Delhi, India: D. K. Printworld (P) Ltd. ISBN 81-246-0202-6. p.5
  35. ^ http://www.buddhistchannel.tv/index.php?id=70,4013,0,0,1,0
  36. ^ Interview with Tashi Wangdi, David Shankbone, Wikinews, November 14, 2007.
  37. ^ "Dalai's reincarnation will not be found under Chinese control". Government of Tibet in Exile. http://www.tibet.com/DL/next-reincarnation.html. 
  38. ^ Dalai Lama may forgo death before reincarnation, Jeremy Page, The Australian, November 29, 2007.
  39. ^ "Dalai's reincarnation will not be found under Chinese control". Government of Tibet in Exile ex Indian Express July 6, 1999. http://www.tibet.com/DL/next-reincarnation.html. 
  40. ^ "BBC - Religion & Ethics - People: The Dalai Lama". BBC, UK. http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religions/buddhism/people/dalailama_1.shtml. 
  41. ^ Two Monks from Panchen Lama's Monastery Commit Suicide
  42. ^ Tibet - "Suicides" of Tibetan Monks who were to recognise the next Dalai Lama
  43. ^ Tibetan monks commit "suicide," victims of pre-Olympic repression
  44. ^ [1]
  45. ^ http://query.nytimes.com/search/sitesearch
  46. ^ http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,717690,00.html
  47. ^ UPI, Year in Review, http://www.upi.com/Audio/Year_in_Review/Events-of-1959/Death-of-John-Foster-Dulles/12295509433704-3/#title
  48. ^ http://www.dalailamafilm.com

References

  • Yá Hánzhāng 牙含章: The Biographies of the Dalai Lamas (Dálài Lǎmá chuán 达赖喇嘛传; Beijing, Foreign Languages Press 1993); ISBN 7-119-01267-3.
  • Schulemann, Guenther: Geschichte der Dalai-Lamas, Harrassowitz, Leipzig, 1958.
  • Diki Tsering, edited & introduced by Khedroob Thondop. (2000). Dalai Lama, My Son: A Mother's Story. Virgin Publishing Company, London. ISBN 0-7535-0571-1.
  • Murray Silver, "When Elvis Meets the Dalai Lama," (Bonaventure Books, Savannah, 2005). The author recounts how he was introduced to the Dalai Lama by mutual friend Richard Gere and became involved in various aspects of the Tibetan initiative; also includes an introduction to Tibetan Buddhism and biographies of several high lamas. The book relates a story about the author's wife and how she was healed of leukemia by the Dalai Lama's doctor and a monk from Kathmandu.

Further reading

  • Goodman, Michael H. (1986). The Last Dalai Lama. Shambhala Publications. Boston, Massachusetts.
  • Mullin, Glenn H. (2001). The Fourteen Dalai Lamas: A Sacred Legacy of Reincarnation. Clear Light Publishers. Santa Fe, New Mexico. ISBN 1-57416-092-3.

External links


Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010
(Redirected to Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama article)

From Wikiquote

The essence of spiritual practice is your attitude toward others. When you have a pure, sincere motivation, then you have right attitude toward others based on kindness, compassion, love and respect.

His Holiness, Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama (born 6 July 1935) Head of state and spiritual leader of the people of Tibet; Awarded the 1989 Nobel Peace Prize; born Lhamo Dhondrub, renamed Jetsun Jamphel Ngawang Lobsang Yeshe Tenzin Gyatso (Holy Lord, Gentle Glory, Compassionate, Defender of the Faith, Ocean of Wisdom) upon being officially recognized as the Dalai Lama. Tibetans often refer to him as Yeshe Norbu, the "Wishfulfilling Gem" or just Kundun - "The Presence."

Contents

Sourced

The Great Vehicle path requires the vast motivation of a Bodhisattva, who, not seeking just his or her welfare, takes on the burden of bringing about the welfare of all sentient beings.
  • My true religion is Kindness.
    • Kindness, Clarity, and Insight (1984)
    • Variant: My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness.
      • As quoted in Tibet, a Guide to the Land of Fascination (1988) by Trilok Chandra Majupuria and Indra Majupuria
  • 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.
    • Kindness, Clarity, and Insight (1984)
  • Religion does not mean just precepts, a temple, monastery, or other external signs, for these as well as hearing and thinking are subsidiary factors in taming the mind. When the mind becomes the practices, one is a practitioner of religion, and when the mind does not become the practices one is not.
    • Deity Yoga (1987) ISBN 0937938505
I am a simple Buddhist monk — no more, no less.
  • What is the Great Vehicle? What is the mode of procedure of the Bodhisattva path? We begin with the topic of the altruistic intention to achieve enlightenment in which one values others more than oneself. The Great Vehicle path requires the vast motivation of a Bodhisattva, who, not seeking just his or her welfare, takes on the burden of bringing about the welfare of all sentient beings. When a person generate this attitude, they enter within the Great Vehicle, and as long as it has not been generated, one cannot be counted among those of the Great Vehicle. This attitude really has great power; it, of course, is helpful for people practicing religion, but it also is helpful for those who are just concerned with the affairs of this lifetime. The root of happiness is altruism — the wish to be of service to others.
    • The Dalai Lama at Harvard: Lectures on the Buddhist Path to Peace (1988) by Jeffrey Hopkins
  • I feel that the essence of spiritual practice is your attitude toward others. When you have a pure, sincere motivation, then you have right attitude toward others based on kindness, compassion, love and respect. Practice brings the clear realisation of the oneness of all human beings and the importance of others benefiting by your actions.
    • Answering the question "Your Holiness, there are many people in the West who want to combine their spiritual practice with social and political responsibility. Do you feel that these two aspects are connected?" in an interview with Catherine Ingram, Dharamsala, India (2 November 1988).
I believe that in the 20th century, humanity has learned from many, many experiences. Some positive, and many negative...
  • It is the enemy who can truly teach us to practice the virtues of compassion and tolerance.
    • Ocean of Wisdom: Guidelines for Living (1989) ISBN 094066609X
    • Unsourced variant: In the practice of tolerance, one's enemy is the best teacher.
  • I am a simple Buddhist monk — no more, no less.
    • As quoted in Nobel Prize Winners (1991) by by Lisa F. Dewitt
  • Dr. Rajendra Prasad was a true Bodhisatva. His humility brought tears to my eyes.
    • Freedom in Exile: The Autobiography of the Dalai Lama (1991)
Bodhicitta is the medicine which revives and gives life to every sentient being who even hears of it.
  • Don't compare me with Jesus. He is a great master, a great master...
    • Interview in The New York Times (28 November 1993)
  • I believe that in the 20th century, humanity has learned from many, many experiences. Some positive, and many negative. What misery, what destruction! The greatest number of human beings were killed in the two world wars of this century. But human nature is such that when we face a tremendous critical situation, the human mind can wake up and find some other alternative. That is a human capacity.
    • Interview in The New York Times (28 November 1993)
  • Reason well from the beginning and then there will never be any need to look back with confusion and doubt.
    • The Path to Enlightenment (1994) ISBN 1559390328
  • Human happiness and human satisfaction must ultimately come from within oneself. It is wrong to expect some final satisfaction to come from money or from a computer.
    • The Path to Tranquility: Daily Wisdom (1998) edited by Renuka Singh
  • Bodhicitta is the medicine which revives and gives life to every sentient being who even hears of it. When you engage in fulfilling the needs of others, your own needs are fulfilled as a by-product.
    • The Path to Tranquility: Daily Wisdom (1998) edited by Renuka Singh
If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.
  • It is also possible within this lifetime to enhance the power of the mind, enabling one to reaccess memories from previous lives. Such recollection tends to be more accessible during meditative experiences in the dream state. Once one has accessed memories of previous lives in the dream state, one gradually recalls them in the waking state.
    • Consciousness at the Crossroads: Conversations with The Dalai Lama on Brain Science and Buddhism (1999) ISBN 1559391278
  • If there is love, there is hope that one may have real families, real brotherhood, real equanimity, real peace. If the love within your mind is lost and you see other beings as enemies, then no matter how much knowledge or education or material comfort you have, only suffering and confusion will ensue
    • The Little Book of Buddhism (2000) ISBN 0712602402
  • If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.
    • As quoted in Meditations for Living In Balance: Daily Solutions for People Who Do Too Much (2000) by Anne Wilson Schaef, p. 11
  • Within the body there are billions of different particles. Similarly, there are many different thoughts and a variety of states of mind. It is wise to take a close look into the world of your mind and to make the distinction between beneficial and harmful states of mind. Once you can recognize the value of good states of mind, you can increase or foster them.
    • The Dalai Lama's Book of Wisdom (2000)
True compassion is not just an emotional response but a firm commitment founded on reason...
  • Compassion without attachment is possible. Therefore, we need to clarify the distinctions between compassion and attachment. True compassion is not just an emotional response but a firm commitment founded on reason. Therefore, a truly compassionate attitude towards others does not change even if they behave negatively. Genuine compassion is based not on our own projections and expectations, but rather on the needs of the other...
    • The Compassionate Life (2001), Ch. 2 "How to Develop Compassion" p. 21
All living beings are believed to possess the nature of the Primordial Buddha Samantabhadra, the potential or seed of enlightenment, within them.
  • From the moment of birth every human being wants happiness and freedom and wants to avoid suffering. In this we are all the same; and the more we care for the happiness of others the greater our own sense of each other becomes. Many of our problems are created by ourselves based on divisions due to ideology, religion, race, resources, economic status or other factors. The time has come to think on a deeper, more human level and appreciate and respect our sameness as human beings. And to have a respect for endangered cultures that share these principles. We are at the dawn of an age in which many people feel that extreme political concepts should cease to dominate human affairs. We should use this opportunity to replace them with universal human and spiritual values and ensure that these values become the fiber of the global family that is emerging. It is not possible to find peace with anger, hatred, jealousy or greed. At every level of society, familial, tribal, national and international, the key to a happier and more peaceful and successful world is the growth of compassion. We do not necessarily need to become religious, nor even believe in an ideology. We need only to develop our good human qualities and know that love and compassion are the most essential concepts for human survival. So long as human beings live and suffer, the only world open to our present knowledge, the brotherhood of man will seem an unattainable principle. In order for us to achieve real lasting peace among one another, the effort to realize that noblest and most satisfactory moral value must be occupation of every individual intelligence.
    • The Compassionate Life (2001) Ch. 3 "Global Compassion"
  • According to Buddhism, individuals are masters of their own destiny. And all living beings are believed to possess the nature of the Primordial Buddha Samantabhadra, the potential or seed of enlightenment, within them. So our future is in our own hands. What greater free will do we need?
    • Answering the question: "Do sentient beings have free will?" in Dzogchen : The Heart Essence of the Great Perfection (2001) ISBN 155939157X
As in science so in Buddhism, understanding the nature of reality is pursued by means of critical investigation...
  • We need a little more compassion, and if we cannot have it then no politician or even a magician can save the planet.
    • As quoted in Words Of Wisdom: Selected Quotes by His Holiness the Dalai Lama (2001) edited by Margaret Gee, p. 49
  • Compassion and tolerance are not a sign of weakness, but a sign of strength.
    • As quoted in Words Of Wisdom: Selected Quotes by His Holiness the Dalai Lama (2001) edited by Margaret Gee, p. 71
  • Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them humanity cannot survive.
    • As quoted in A Small Drop of Ink: A Collection of Inspirational and Moving Quotations of the Ages (2003) by Linda Pendleton
  • My confidence in venturing into science lies in my basic belief that as in science so in Buddhism, understanding the nature of reality is pursued by means of critical investigation: if scientific analysis were conclusively to demonstrate certain claims in Buddhism to be false, then we must accept the findings of science and abandon those claims.
    • The Universe in a Single Atom: The Convergence of Science and Spirituality (2005)
  • If science proves some belief of Buddhism wrong, then Buddhism will have to change. In my view, science and Buddhism share a search for the truth and for understanding reality. By learning from science about aspects of reality where its understanding may be more advanced, I believe that Buddhism enriches its own worldview.
    • The New York Times (12 November 2005)
All major religious traditions carry basically the same message, that is love, compassion and forgiveness... the important thing is they should be part of our daily lives.
  • All major religious traditions carry basically the same message, that is love, compassion and forgiveness ... the important thing is they should be part of our daily lives.
    • As quoted in Especially for Christians: Powerful Thought-provoking Words from the Past (2005) by Mark Alton Rose, p. 19
The time has come to educate people, to cease all quarrels in the name of religion, culture, countries, different political or economic systems...
  • His Holiness Pope John Paul II was a man I held in high regard. His experience in Poland and my own difficulties with communists gave us an immediate ground.
    The Pope was very sympathetic to the Tibetan problem. Of course, as the head of an institution trying to establish good relations with China and seriously concerned about the status of millions of Christians in china he could not express this publicly or officially. But right from the start of our friendship he revealed to me privately that he had a clear understanding of the Tibetan problem because of his own experience of communism in Poland. This gave me great personal encouragement.
  • Media people should have long noses like an elephant to smell out politicians, mayors, prime ministers and businessmen. We need to know the reality, the good and the bad, not just the appearance.
  • The time has come to educate people, to cease all quarrels in the name of religion, culture, countries, different political or economic systems. Fighting is useless. Suicide.
    • News conference in Vancouver, B.C. as quoted in The Globe and Mail. (8 September 2006)

Letter to Deng Xiaoping (1981)

Letter to Deng Xiaoping (23 March 1981) Full text online
  • I agree with and believe in the Communist ideology which seeks the well being of human beings in general and the proletariat in particular, and in Lenin's policy of the equality of nationalities. Similarly, I was pleased with the discussions I had with Chairman Mao on ideology and the policy towards nationalities.
    If that same ideology and policy were implemented it would have brought much admiration and happiness. However, if one is to make a general comment on the developments during the past two decades, there has been a lapse in economic and educational progress, the basis of human happiness. Moreover, on account of the hardships caused by the unbearable disruptions, there has been a loss of trust between the Party and the masses, between the officials and the masses, among the officials themselves, and also among the masses themselves.
    By deceiving one another through false assumptions and misrepresentations there has been, in reality, a great lapse and delay in achieving the real goals.
  • It is regrettable that some Tibetan officials, who lack the wisdom and competence required for promoting basic human happiness and the short and long term welfare of their own people, indulge in flattering Chinese officials and, collaborate with these Chinese officials who know nothing about Tibetans and work simply for their temporary fame indulging in fabricating impressive reports. In reality, the Tibetan people have not only undergone immeasurable sufferings, but large numbers have also unnecessarily lost their lives.
  • On the political front, we have always pursued the path of truth and justice in our struggle for the legitimate rights of the Tibetan people. We have never indulged in distortions, exaggerations and criticism of the Chinese people. Neither have we harboured any ill will towards them. Above all, we have always held to our position of truth and justice without siding with any of the international political power blocks.
  • We must improve the relationship between China and Tibet as well as between Tibetans in and outside Tibet. With truth and equality as our foundation, we must try to develop friendship between Tibetans and Chinese through better understanding in the future. The time has come to apply our common wisdom in a spirit of tolerance and broadmindedness to achieve genuine happiness for the Tibetan people with a sense of urgency.
    On my part, I remain committed to contribute my efforts for the welfare of all human beings, and in particular the poor and the weak to the best of my ability without any distinction based on national boundaries.

Nobel acceptance speech (1989)

Nobel acceptance speech (10 December 1989) Full text online
I am convinced that everyone can develop a good heart and a sense of universal responsibility with or without religion.
  • I believe all suffering is caused by ignorance. People inflict pain on others in the selfish pursuit of their happiness or satisfaction. Yet true happiness comes from a sense of inner peace and contentment, which in turn must be achieved through the cultivation of altruism, of love and compassion and elimination of ignorance, selfishness and greed.
    The problems we face today, violent conflicts, destruction of nature, poverty, hunger, and so on, are human-created problems which can be resolved through human effort, understanding and the development of a sense of brotherhood and sisterhood. We need to cultivate a universal responsibility for one another and the planet we share. Although I have found my own Buddhist religion helpful in generating love and compassion, even for those we consider our enemies, I am convinced that everyone can develop a good heart and a sense of universal responsibility with or without religion.
I am optimistic that the ancient values that have sustained mankind are today reaffirming themselves to prepare us for a kinder, happier twenty-first century.
  • With the ever-growing impact of science on our lives, religion and spirituality have a greater role to play by reminding us of our humanity. There is no contradiction between the two. Each gives us valuable insights into the other. Both science and the teachings of the Buddha tell us of the fundamental unity of all things. This understanding is crucial if we are to take positive and decisive action on the pressing global concern with the environment. I believe all religions pursue the same goals, that of cultivating human goodness and bringing happiness to all human beings. Though the means might appear different the ends are the same.
  • As we enter the final decade of this century I am optimistic that the ancient values that have sustained mankind are today reaffirming themselves to prepare us for a kinder, happier twenty-first century.
    I pray for all of us, oppressor and friend, that together we succeed in building a better world through human understanding and love, and that in doing so we may reduce the pain and suffering of all sentient beings.

Nobel lecture (1989)

Nobel lecture (11 December 1989) Full text online
We have to learn to live in harmony and peace with each other and with nature. That is not just a dream, but a necessity.
  • When I meet people in different parts of the world, I am always reminded that we are all basically alike: we are all human beings. Maybe we have different clothes, our skin is of a different colour, or we speak different languages. That is on the surface. But basically, we are the same human beings. That is what binds us to each other. That is what makes it possible for us to understand each other and to develop friendship and closeness.
  • Because we all share this small planet earth, we have to learn to live in harmony and peace with each other and with nature. That is not just a dream, but a necessity. We are dependent on each other in so many ways, that we can no longer live in isolated communities and ignore what is happening outside those communities, and we must share the good fortune that we enjoy.
Inner peace is the key: if you have inner peace, the external problems do not affect your deep sense of peace and tranquility.
  • I speak not with a feeling of anger or hatred towards those who are responsible for the immense suffering of our people and the destruction of our land, homes and culture. They too are human beings who struggle to find happiness and deserve our compassion. I speak to inform you of the sad situation in my country today and of the aspirations of my people, because in our struggle for freedom, truth is the only weapon we possess.
  • Today, we are truly a global family. What happens in one part of the world may affect us all. This, of course, is not only true of the negative things that happen, but is equally valid for the positive developments. We not only know what happens elsewhere, thanks to the extraordinary modern communications technology. We are also directly affected by events that occur far away.
  • Our own security is enhanced when peace breaks out between warring parties in other continents.
    But war or peace; the destruction or the protection of nature; the violation or promotion of human rights and democratic freedoms; poverty or material well-being; the lack of moral and spiritual values or their existence and development; and the breakdown or development of human understanding, are not isolated phenomena that can be analysed and tackled independently of one another. In fact, they are very much interrelated at all levels and need to be approached with that understanding.
  • Peace can only last where human rights are respected, where the people are fed, and where individuals and nations are free. True peace with oneself and with the world around us can only be achieved through the development of mental peace.
  • Inner peace is the key: if you have inner peace, the external problems do not affect your deep sense of peace and tranquility. In that state of mind you can deal with situations with calmness and reason, while keeping your inner happiness. That is very important. Without this inner peace, no matter how comfortable your life is materially, you may still be worried, disturbed or unhappy because of circumstances.
  • Responsibility does not only lie with the leaders of our countries or with those who have been appointed or elected to do a particular job. It lies with each one of us individually.
I would like to take this opportunity to explain the Zone of Ahimsa or peace sanctuary concept...
  • I am deeply touched by the sincere concern shown by so many people in this part of the world for the suffering of the people of Tibet. That is a source of hope not only for us Tibetans, but for all oppressed people.
  • I would like to take this opportunity to explain the Zone of Ahimsa or peace sanctuary concept, which is the central element of the Five-Point Peace Plan. I am convinced that it is of great importance not only for Tibet, but for peace and stability in Asia.
    It is my dream that the entire Tibetan plateau should become a free refuge where humanity and nature can live in peace and in harmonious balance.
  • The following are key elements of the proposed Zone of Ahimsa:
  • the entire Tibetan plateau would be demilitarised;
  • the manufacture, testing, and stockpiling of nuclear weapons and other armaments on the Tibetan plateau would be prohibited;
  • the Tibetan plateau would be transformed into the world's largest natural park or biosphere. Strict laws would be enforced to protect wildlife and plant life; the exploitation of natural resources would be carefully regulated so as not to damage relevant ecosystems; and a policy of sustainable development would be adopted in populated areas;
  • the manufacture and use of nuclear power and other technologies which produce hazardous waste would be prohibited;
  • national resources and policy would be directed towards the active promotion of peace and environmental protection. Organisations dedicated to the furtherance of peace and to the protection of all forms of life would find a hospitable home in Tibet;
  • the establishment of international and regional organisations for the promotion and protection of human rights would be encouraged in Tibet.
For as long as space endures, and for as long as living beings remain, until then may I, too, abide to dispel the misery of the world.
  • For the stability and peace of Asia, it is essential to create peace zones to separate the continent's biggest powers and potential adversaries.
  • When I visited Costa Rica earlier this year, I saw how a country can develop successfully without an army, to become a stable democracy committed to peace and the protection of the natural environment. This confirmed my belief that my vision of Tibet in the future is a realistic plan, not merely a dream.
  • I believe that our Tibetan ability to combine spiritual qualities with a realistic and practical attitude enables us to make a special contribution, in however modest a way. This is my hope and prayer.
    In conclusion, let me share with you a short prayer which gives me great inspiration and determination:
For as long as space endures,
And for as long as living beings remain,
Until then may I, too, abide
To dispel the misery of the world.

The Dalai Lama: A Policy of Kindness (1990)

The Dalai Lama, A Policy of Kindness: An Anthology by and about the Dalai Lama (1990) edited by Sidney Piburn ISBN 8120815122
An old day passes, a new day arrives. The important thing is to make it meaningful...
  • Old friends pass away, new friends appear. It is just like the days. An old day passes, a new day arrives. The important thing is to make it meaningful: a meaningful friend — or a meaningful day.
    • As quoted in "Tibet's Living Buddha" by Pico Iyer, p. 32
  • Whether one believes in a religion or not, and whether one believes in rebirth or not, there isn't anyone who doesn't appreciate kindness and compassion.
    • "Kindness and Compassion" p. 47
  • If I say, "I am a monk." or "I am a Buddhist," these are, in comparison to my nature as a human being, temporary. To be human is basic.
    • "Kindness and Compassion" p. 47
  • Today we face many problems. Some are created essentially by ourselves based on divisions due to ideology, religion, race, economic status, or other factors. Therefore, the time has come for us to think on a deeper level, on the human level, and from that level we should appreciate and respect the sameness of others as human beings.
    • "Kindness and Compassion" p. 47
  • This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness.
    • "Kindness and Compassion" p. 52
To study Buddhism and then use it as a weapon in order to criticize others' theories or ideologies is wrong. The very purpose of religion is to control yourself, not to criticize others.
  • To study Buddhism and then use it as a weapon in order to criticize others' theories or ideologies is wrong. The very purpose of religion is to control yourself, not to criticize others. Rather, we must criticize ourselves. How much am I doing about my anger? About my attachment, about my hatred, about my pride, my jealousy? These are the things which we must check in daily life with the knowledge of the Buddhist teachings.
    • "A Talk to Western Buddhists" p. 87
  • As Buddhists, while we practice our own teaching, we must respect other faiths, Christianity, Judaism and so forth. We must recognize and appreciate their contributions over many past centuries to human society, and at this time we must strive to make common effort to serve humankind.
    • "A Talk to Western Buddhists" p. 87
  • Sectarian feelings and criticism of other teachings or other sects is very bad, poisonous, and should be avoided.
    • "A Talk to Western Buddhists" p. 87
  • 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.
    • "A Talk to Western Buddhists" p. 89
As time passes I have firmed my conviction that all religions can work together despite fundamental differences in philosophy. Every religion aims at serving humanity. Therefore, it is possible for the various religions to work together to serve humanity and contribute to world peace.
  • If there are sound reasons or bases for the points you demand, then there is no need for violence. On the other hand, when there is no sound reason that concessions should be made to you but mainly your own desire, then reason cannot work and you have to rely on force. Thus using force is not a sign of strength but rather a sign of weakness.
    • "The Nobel Evening Address" p. 115
  • As a result of more contact with people from other traditions, as time passes I have firmed my conviction that all religions can work together despite fundamental differences in philosophy. Every religion aims at serving humanity. Therefore, it is possible for the various religions to work together to serve humanity and contribute to world peace. So, during these last few years, at every opportunity I try to develop closer relations with other religions.
    • "The Nobel Evening Address" p. 115
  • Buddhism does not accept a theory of God, or a creator. According to Buddhism, one's own actions are the creator, ultimately. Some people say that, from a certain angle, Buddhism is not a religion but rather a science of mind. Religion has much involvement with faith. Sometimes it seems that there is quite a distance between a way of thinking based on faith and one entirely based on experiment, remaining skeptical. Unless you find something through investigation, you do not want to accept it as fact. From one viewpoint, Buddhism is a religion, from another viewpoint Buddhism is a science of mind and not a religion. Buddhism can be a bridge between these two sides. Therefore, with this conviction I try to have closer ties with scientists, mainly in the fields of cosmology, psychology, neurobiology and physics. In these fields there are insights to share, and to a certain extent we can work together.
    • "The Nobel Evening Address" p. 115

Daily Telegraph interview (2006)

"Westerners are too self-absorbed" by Alice Thomson, in The Daily Telegraph (1 March 2006)
  • In the West, you have bigger homes, yet smaller families; you have endless conveniences — yet you never seem to have any time. You can travel anywhere in the world, yet you don’t bother to cross the road to meet your neighbours.
  • Some say I am a good person, some say I am a charlatan — I am just a monk... I never asked people like Richard Gere to come, but it is foolish to stop them. I have Tibetans, Indians, backpackers, Aids patients, religious people, politicians, actors and princesses. My attitude is to give everyone some of my time. If I can contribute in any way to their happiness, that makes me happy.
  • I don't want to convert people to Buddhism — all major religions, when understood properly, have the same potential for good.
  • Fundamentalism is terrifying because it is based purely on emotion, rather than intelligence. It prevents followers from thinking as individuals and about the good of the world.

Misattributed

Instructions for Life

These statements were falsely attributed to the Dalai Lama in an email hoax. They actually derive from advice in Life's Little Instruction Book: 511 suggestions, observations, and reminders on how to live a happy and rewarding life (1991) by H. Jackson Brown, Jr; More information is available on the hoax at Snopes.com
  1. Take into account that great love and great achievements involve great risk.
  2. When you lose, don't lose the lesson.
  3. Follow the three Rs: Respect for self, Respect for others and Responsibility for all your actions.
  4. Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.
  5. Learn the rules so you know how to break them properly.
  6. Don't let a little dispute injure a great friendship.
  7. When you realize you've made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it.
  8. Spend some time alone every day.
  9. Open your arms to change, but don't let go of your values.
  10. Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.
  11. Live a good, honorable life. Then when you get older and think back, you'll be able to enjoy it a second time.
  12. In disagreements with loved ones, deal only with the current situation. Don't bring up the past.
  13. Share your knowledge. It's a way to achieve immortality.
  14. Be gentle with the earth.
  15. Once a year, go someplace you've never been before.
  16. Remember that the best relationship is one in which your love for each other exceeds your need for each other.
  17. Judge your success by what you had to give up in order to get it.
  18. Approach love and cooking with reckless abandon.

Quotes about the 14th Dalai Lama

In awarding the Peace Prize to H.H. the Dalai Lama we affirm our unstinting support for his work for peace, and for the unarmed masses on the march in many lands for liberty, peace and human dignity. ~ Egil Aarvik, Chairman of the Norwegian Nobel Committee
  • The Dalai Lama in his struggle for the liberation of Tibet consistently has opposed the use of violence. He has instead advocated peaceful solutions based upon tolerance and mutual respect in order to preserve the historical and cultural heritage of his people.
    The Dalai Lama has developed his philosophy of peace from a great reverence for all things living and upon the concept of universal responsibility embracing all mankind as well as nature.
  • The world has shrunk. Increasingly peoples and nations have grown dependent on one another. No one can any longer act entirely in his own interest. It is therefore imperative that we should accept mutual responsibility for all political, economic, and ecological problems.
    In view of this, fewer and fewer people would venture to dismiss the Dalai Lama's philosophy as utopian: on the contrary, one would be increasingly justified in asserting that his gospel of nonviolence is the truly realistic one, with most promise for the future. And this applies not only to Tibet but to each and every conflict. The future hopes of oppressed millions are today linked to the unarmed battalions, for they will win the peace: the justice of their demands, moreover, is now so clear and the normal strength of their struggle so indomitable that they can only temporarily be halted by force of arms.
    In awarding the Peace Prize to H.H. the Dalai Lama we affirm our unstinting support for his work for peace, and for the unarmed masses on the march in many lands for liberty, peace and human dignity.
  • There's no question that His Holiness is my root guru, and he's been quite tough with me at times. I've had to explain to people who sometimes have quite a romantic vision of His Holiness that at times he's been cross with me, but it was very skillful. At the moment he did it, I'm not saying it was pleasant for me, but there was no ego attachment from his side. I'm very thankful that he trusts me enough to be the mirror for me and not pull any punches. Mind you, the first meetings were not that way; I think he was aware how fragile I was and was being very careful. Now I think he senses that my seriousness about the teachings has increased and my own strength within the teachings has increased. He can be much tougher on me.
  • I found also that the question of His Holiness in terms of a political movement was very tricky. It's a non-violent movement, which is a problem in itself-you don't get headlines with nonviolence. And His Holiness doesn't see himself as Gandhi; he doesn't create dramatic, operatic situations.
    So we've ended up taking a much steadier kind of approach. It's not about drama. It's about, little by little, building truth, and I think it's probably been deeper because of that. The senators, congressmen, legislators and parliamentarians who have got involved go way beyond what they would normally give to a cause they believed in.
    • Richard Gere, in "My Journey as a Buddhist" an interview with Melvin McLeod in Shambhala Sun (May 1999)
  • I think the universality of His Holiness' words and teachings have made this so much bigger than just Tibet. When His Holiness won the Nobel Peace Prize, there was a quantum leap. He is not seen as solely a Tibetan anymore; he belongs to the world.
    • Richard Gere, in "My Journey as a Buddhist" an interview with Melvin McLeod in Shambhala Sun (May 1999)
  • His Holiness opposes violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation. He urges respect, tolerance, compassion and the full recognition of human rights for all.
    • Office of Tibet spokeswoman Dawa Tsering

External links


Wiktionary

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

Contents

English

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Etymology

From Mongolian далай (dalai), ocean) + Tibetan བླ་མ (bla-ma), lama).

Pronunciation

Noun

Singular
Dalai Lama

Plural
Dalai Lamas

Dalai Lama (plural Dalai Lamas)

  1. (Tibetan Buddhism) The supreme head of Tibetan Buddhism, believed to be an incarnation of Avalokitesvara, and considered the spiritual leader of the Tibetan people.

Related terms

Translations


Genealogy

Up to date as of February 01, 2010

From Familypedia

List of Dalai Lamas

from Dalai Lama on the Wikipedia

There have been 14 Dalai Lamas:

Name Lifespan Reign Tibetan/Wylie PRC transcription Other English spelling(s)
1. Gendun Drup 1391–1474 × དྒེ་འདུན་འགྲུབ་
dge ‘dun ‘grub
Gêdün Chub Gedun Drub, Gedün Drup, Gendun Drup
2. Gendun Gyatso 1475–1541 × དགེ་འདུན་རྒྱ་མཚོ་
dge ‘dun rgya mtsho
Gêdün Gyaco Gedün Gyatso, Gendün Gyatso
3. Sonam Gyatso 1543–1588 1578–1588 བསོད་ནམས་རྒྱ་མཚོ་
bsod nams rgya mtsho
Soinam Gyaco Sönam Gyatso
4. Yonten Gyatso 1589–1616 [?] ཡོན་ཏན་རྒྱ་མཚོ་
yon tan rgya mtsho
Yoindain Gyaco Yontan Gyatso
5. Lobsang Gyatso 1617–1682 1642–1682 བློ་བཟང་རྒྱ་མཚོ་
blo bzang rgya mtsho
Lobsang Gyaco Lobzang Gyatso, Lopsang Gyatso
6. Tsangyang Gyatso 1683–1706 [?]–1706 ཚང་དབྱངས་རྒྱ་མཚོ་
tshang dbyangs rgya mtsho
Cangyang Gyaco
7. Kelzang Gyatso 1708–1757 1751–1757 བསྐལ་བཟང་རྒྱ་མཚོ་
bskal bzang rgya mtsho
Gaisang Gyaco Kelsang Gyatso, Kalsang Gyatso
8. Jamphel Gyatso 1758–1804 1786–1804 བྱམས་སྤེལ་རྒྱ་མཚོ་
byams spel rgya mtsho
Qambê Gyaco Jampel Gyatso, Jampal Gyatso
9. Lungtok Gyatso 1806–1815 (1808–1815)× ལུང་རྟོགས་རྒྱ་མཚོ་
lung rtogs rgya mtsho
Lungdog Gyaco Lungtog Gyatso
10. Tsultrim Gyatso 1816–1837 ཚུལ་ཁྲིམ་རྒྱ་མཚོ་
tshul khrim rgya mtsho
Cüchim Gyaco Tshültrim Gyatso
11. Khendrup Gyatso 1838–1856 1844–1856 མཁས་གྲུབ་རྒྱ་མཚོ་
mkhas grub rgya mtsho
Kaichub Gyaco Kedrub Gyatso
12. Trinley Gyatso 1857–1875 [?] འཕྲིན་ལས་རྒྱ་མཚོ་
‘phrin las rgya mtsho
Chinlai Gyaco Trinle Gyatso
13. Thubten Gyatso 1876–1933 [?] ཐུབ་བསྟན་རྒྱ་མཚོ་
thub bstan rgya mtsho
Tubdain Gyaco Thubtan Gyatso, Thupten Gyatso
14. Tenzin Gyatso 1935–present 1950–present (in exile) བསྟན་འཛིན་རྒྱ་མཚོ་
bstan ‘dzin rgya mtsho
Dainzin Gyaco

x The title "Dalai Lama" was conferred posthumously to the first and second Dalai Lamas. The 9th Dalai Lama was officially enthroned, but never reigned.

Facts about Dalai LamaRDF feed

This article uses material from the "Dalai Lama" article on the Genealogy wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

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Buddhism


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Three Jewels
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Noble Eightfold Path
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Gautama Buddha
Dalai Lama
Bodhisattva
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File:Potala from
Potala palace

The Dalai Lama is a religious figure in Tibetan Buddhism. He is its highest spiritual teacher of Gelugpa school. A new Dalai Lama is said to be the re-born old Dalai Lama. This line goes back to 1391. The 14th and current Dalai Lama is Tenzin Gyatso.

Between the 17th century and 1959, the Dalai Lama was the head of the Tibetan government. During winter, the Dalai Lamas stayed in the Potala palace. In summer they were in the Norbulingka palace. These two palaces are both in Lhasa, Tibet. In 1959, the Dalai Lama had to flee from Tibet to Dharamsala, India. This is where he still is today.

The current Dalai Lama is His Holiness Tenzin Gyatso.

Dalai Lama is the title of Tibetan Buddhism leader. "Dalai" is original from Mongolian which means "ocean" and "Lama" is original from Tibetan which means "the highest principle". In 1653, during the Qing Dynasty, this title was authorized to Dalai Lama V by the Chinese Emperor for the first time.

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