The Dalai Lama
The 14th Dalai Lama is not only the spiritual and secular leader of Tibetans, but also a charismatic ambassador of peace. Due to his passionate commitment to human values such as compassion, non-violence, and tolerance, he enjoys great empathy across all religions, political parties, and social groups.
In 1937 at the age of two, Tenzin Gyatso is recognized and acknowledged as a reincarnation of the XIIIth Dalai Lama. He is taken from his parents' home to the Potala, the traditional see of the Dalai Lamas, where he is educated as a monk and given comprehensive instructions on Buddhist philosophy and meditation by the best teachers of Tibet.
At the age of fifteen, he is appointed as the spiritual and secular leader of Tibet. Shortly thereafter, Chinese troops invade Tibet. In 1959, the Dalai Lama flees to India, and about one hundred thousand Tibetans follow him there. In Dharamsala, H.P. India, he creates a government in exile and tries in many ways to improve the lot of people in his home country of Tibet.
According to his own statements, HH the Dalai Lama pursues three aims of life: He wishes to foster human values such as compassion and tolerance, in particular among people who do not profess any religion. He is committed to a harmonious relationship among world religions. As Tibetan leader he contends for a non-violent solution of the problem of Tibet.
Among his efforts is the democratization of Tibetan society in exile. At the initiative of HH the Dalai Lama democratic institutions were created gradually, for instance the Parliament in exile and a cabinet among other things. In July 2001, HH the Dalai Lama saw to it that his own powers were reduced: At his own prompting, Tibetan exiles elected their first prime minister in the person of Professor Samdhong Rinpoche.
In the West, HH the Dalai Lama became famous in 1989 when he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to achieve a non-violent solution of the Tibetan problem. Since 1967, the Nobel Peace Prize laureate has been traveling in the Western world where he is being received by heads of state. He is invited regularly to the West to explain Buddhist theory to thousands of visitors.Print