14th Dalai Lama

The 14th Dalai Lama[note 1] (spiritual name Jetsun Jamphel Ngawang Lobsang Yeshe Tenzin Gyatso, known as Tenzin Gyatso; born Lhamo Dhondup),[note 2] is the current Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader of the Tibetan Buddhism, and a retired political leader of Tibet.[4] Born on 6 July 1935, or in the Tibetan calendar, in the Wood-Pig Year, 5th month, 5th day.[5] Based on his biography, he is a simple Buddhist monk. Based on the Charter of Tibetans In Exile, he is manifestation of Avalokiteśvara, divine lord of Trailokya, and the master of all Buddhist teachings. He is also the leader of the Gelug school, the newest and currently most dominant of the four major schools of Tibetan Buddhism,[6] formally headed by the Ganden Tripa. The government of Tibet, Kashag, rule of the Ganden Phodrang, invested the Dalai Lama with temporal duties until his exile in 1959.[7][8] On 29 April 1959, the Dalai Lama re-established the Kashag in the north Indian hill station of Mussoorie, which then moved in May 1960 to Dharamshala, where he resides. In 1963, he promulgated Constitution of Tibet, and he became permanent head of state of Tibet.[9] In 1974, he rejected calls for Tibetan independence, [10] and he became permanent head of the Tibetan Administration and the executive functions for Tibetans-in-exile in 1991. In March 2011, at 71 years of age, he decided not to assume any political and administrative authority, the Charter of Tibetans in Exile was updated immediately and came into force on 29 May 2011, with all articles related to political duties of the 14th Dalai Lama and regents repealed. [11][12][13]

Tenzin Gyatso
The Dalai Lama in 2012
14th Dalai Lama
Reign22 February 1940 – present
PredecessorThubten Gyatso
RegentFifth Reting Rinpoche Jamphel Yeshe Gyaltsen, 3rd Taktra Rinpoche
Head of the Tibetan Administration for Tibetans-in-exile
In office14 June 1991 – 2011
PredecessorPosition established
Head of state of the Kashag of Tibet
In office10 March 1963 – 13 June 1991
PredecessorPosition established
Director of the Preparatory Committee for the Tibet Autonomous Region
In office1956–1959
PredecessorOffice established
Successor10th Panchen Lama (acting)
1st, 2nd Vice Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress of the People's Republic of China
In office15 September 1954 – 17 December 1964[1]
Exile to India in March 1959
BornLhamo Thondup
(1935-07-06) 6 July 1935 (age 86)
Taktser, Amdo, Tibet[2][3]
FatherChoekyong Tsering
MotherDiki Tsering
ReligionTibetan Buddhism (Gelug school)
Signature

The 14th Dalai Lama was born as one of three reincarnated rinpoches in one farming family, in Taktser (Hongya in Chinese), in Amdo (Qinghai in Chinese), northeastern Tibet.[2][3] He was selected as one of 3 reincarnated soul boys of the 13th Dalai Lama in 1937, but declared as the 14th Dalai Lama by Kashag on August 23, 1939 by ignoring the other two candidates before sitting-in-the-bed.[14][15] As with the approval process for the 13th Dalai Lama, request to exempt Lhamo Thondup from lot-drawing process using Golden Urn to become the 14th Dalai Lama was approved by the Central Government on February 5th 1940. [16][17][18][19] His sitting-in-the-bed ceremony as the Dalai Lama was held in Lhasa on 22 February 1940. On 17 November 1950, he was enthroned hastily based on advice of oracles after news of the PLA victories in Battle of Chamdo, before the Seventeen Point Agreement was signed and ratified. [16] [15]

During the 1959 Tibetan uprising, the Dalai Lama escaped to India, where he currently lives in exile while remaining the most important spiritual leader of Tibet. The Dalai Lama advocates for the welfare of Tibetans while continuing to call for the Middle Way Approach to negotiations with China for the autonomy of Tibet and the protection of Tibetan culture, including for the religious rights of Tibetans.

The Dalai Lama also meets with other world leaders, religious leaders, philosophers and scientists, and travels worldwide giving Tibetan Buddhist teachings. His work includes focus on the environment, economics, women's rights, nonviolence, interfaith dialogue, physics, astronomy, Buddhism and science, cognitive neuroscience,[20][21][22] reproductive health and sexuality. Along with his teachings on Tibetan Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhism, the Dalai Lama's Kalachakra teachings and initiations are international events. He is the chief Patron of the Maha Bodhi Society of India, conferred upon him at the 2008 Annual General Meeting of the Maha Bodhi Society of India.[23] The Dalai Lama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989, and the US Congressional Gold Medal in 2006. Time magazine named the Dalai Lama one of the "Children of Mahatma Gandhi" and Gandhi's spiritual heir to nonviolence.[24][25]