Dalai Lama History: Biography, History, And Legacy Of The Dalai Lama

As the spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhists, the Dalai Lama is an influential religious leader and political figure, but most Westerners do not know much about him. Who was he before becoming the Dalai Lama? How did he become the Dalai Lama? Who becomes the Dalai Lama after death? He is currently 85 years old and in poor health, so all these questions are pressing.

What is the Dalai Lama?

The Dalai Lama is a human person, but the name is also a title meaning "ocean of knowledge" given to the leading monk of Tibetan Buddhism. This is not a type of title you get through a political process of backroom dealing or just ends up after a substantial rise through the ranks, as is common in some Western religions; The Dalai Lama is believed to be the reincarnation of every previous lama who is believed to be a soul trapped in an endless cycle of rebirth, never reaching nirvana, because his work is just too important. . tough break.

The first Dalai Lama was a boy named Gedun Drup who lived from 1391 to 1474 and is thought to have been reborn as Gedun Gyatso the following year, but neither of them received the title in his lifetime. Technically, the first person to receive the title of the Dalai Lama was Sonam Gyatso, who was born after Gedun Gyatso's death in 1542, but when he was conferred the title, it was posthumously awarded the first two.

The house where the 14th Dalai Lama was born in Tataser, Amdo.

Tibet's Next Top Lama

The Dalai Lama is believed to be the reincarnation of his predecessor, so the higher Lamas - that is, leaders of Tibetan Buddhism - cannot choose anyone and move on. Nor can they observe every boy born at the time of the death of the previous Dalai Lama, just as Prince Charming was looking for his Cinderella. This can take ages, and their nebulous process takes a long time, as it has for many years (it took four years to locate the current Dalai Lama).

That doesn't mean they're just casting about visually, though. The high lamas pay special attention to the direction of the smoke emanating from the cremation of the previous Dalai Lama, as the Dalai Lama's soul is thought to blow his new baby body. Occasionally, one of the high lamas dreams about the child they want and learns in the dream how to identify the infant, as a typical birthmark accurately as the general of the village where he lives. High Lamas may also have to travel to Lhamo Lhatso, a sacred lake located in central Tibet, to search for the sacred symbol. This was the method by which the current Dalai Lama was found.

Whatever guidance is given, once the higher lamas have some idea where to see and identify a candidate, they visit the boy's family, but this is no entrance interview. They bring several items with them, some of which were from the previous Dalai Lama, and watch the child to see which items have been selected. If he appears to identify the property of the previous Dalai Lama, they can all celebrate themselves with a good, enlightened celebration, as they have found their once and future man.

The 14th Dalai Lama as a child in Amdo, Tibet, c. 1940s

Who is the current Dalai Lama?

The 14th current in succession is the Dalai Lama, a man, born Lhamo Dhondup on July 6, 1935, in a peasant family in a small village in northeastern Tibet. According to the high lamas, they were identified after the 13th Dalai Lama's mysterious face turned mysteriously to the northeast, and one of the high lamas had a premiere in Lhamo Lhatso that the child was a gold and turquoise roof Will be found near a monastery with. In a humble house with funny looking gutters.

He discovered the Kumbum monastery in Amdo, which fits the description, and began looking around the surrounding villages with a house with strange gutters until they found the three-year-old Lhamo's house, which he Determined that he was born after the death of the 13th Dalai Lama. When the High Lamas visited his house to give Lamao a final test, he was quickly validated: when presented with various items, the child picked up two items that belonged to the 13th Dalai Lama and shouted, "It's mine! It's mine!"

The Potala Palace of Lhasa is a UNESCO World Heritage Site painted in 2006 today.

It is difficult for the Dalai Lama

Lhamo Dhondup soon gave birth to Tenzin Gyatso, who lived with his family until he was five years old, then was sent to a nearby monastery to begin training. Later, he was sent to Lhasa, the capital of Tibet, where he continued his education under the patronage of the highest-ranking monks, and in 1950, he was officially elated at the age of 15.

By 1959, the Dalai Lama was not only the leading monk of Tibetan Buddhism, but also the political leader of Tibet. His official residence was the ornate Potala Palace in Lhasa. However, that year, the Tibetans revolted against Chinese control of their land. Chinese troops crushed the rebellion, killing thousands of people and the Dalai Lama left Tibet and followed him along with about 10,000 other Tibetans to seek refuge in India.

He was welcomed with open arms by Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, who also allowed him to set up the Tibetan government in exile in Dharamshala, which has since become a global center of Tibetan culture and religion. The Dalai Lama, who has been in India for the past 60 years, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his non-violent approach to conflict with the Chinese government.

The Dalai Lama received the Congressional Gold Medal in 2007.

The next Dalai Lama?

At the age of 85, the Dalai Lama is not exactly a picture of health, but last year, he assured his followers that he plans to be 110 years old. If he succeeds, the high lamas will be looking for a male infant born around 2045 to trace their leader's rebirth. In most cases, the Dalai Lama is located in Tibet, but the third Dalai Lama was from Mongolia, so they may be for a short trek. One thing we know for sure - because the current Dalai Lama has said this to us - is that he will not be found in any country that is controlled by the People's Republic of China or is not otherwise free, so at least Low suggests that slightly down.

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