Information

Dalai Lama, leader of Tibet, is born

Dalai Lama, leader of Tibet, is born


We are searching data for your request:

Forums and discussions:
Manuals and reference books:
Data from registers:
Wait the end of the search in all databases.
Upon completion, a link will appear to access the found materials.

On July 6, an infant named Tenzin Gyatso, future leader of Tibet, is born to a peasant family in Takster, Tibet. At age two, he will be declared the Dalai Lama.

In 1937, the child was declared the reincarnation of a great Buddhist spiritual leader and named the 14th Dalai Lama. His leadership rights were exercised by a regency until 1950. That same year, he was forced to flee by the Chinese but negotiated an agreement and returned to lead Tibet for the next eight years. In 1959, an unsuccessful Tibetan nationalist uprising led to a crackdown by China, and the Dalai Lama fled to Punjab, India, where he established his democratic government in exile. In 1989, he won the Nobel Peace Prize for his commitment to the nonviolent liberation of Tibet.

In 1998, his book The Art of Happiness, written with psychiatrist Howard Cutler, became a bestseller. His next book, Ethics for the New Millennium (1999), cracked the bestseller lists in August 1999, giving him two titles in the Top 10. Although drawing on Buddhist teachings, the books argue that spiritual faith is not necessary to live a contented, peaceful life.


Dalai Lama

Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article.

Dalai Lama, head of the dominant Dge-lugs-pa (Yellow Hat) order of Tibetan Buddhists and, until 1959, both spiritual and temporal ruler of Tibet.

The first of the line was Dge-’dun-grub-pa (1391–1475), founder and abbot of Tashilhunpo monastery (central Tibet). In accordance with the belief in reincarnate lamas, which began to develop in the 14th century, his successors were conceived as his rebirths and came to be regarded as physical manifestations of the compassionate bodhisattva (“buddha-to-be”), Avalokiteshvara.

The second head of the Dge-lugs-pa order, Dge-’dun-rgya-mtsho (1475–1542), became the head abbot of the ’Bras-spungs (Drepung) monastery on the outskirts of Lhasa, which thenceforward was the principal seat of the Dalai Lama. His successor, Bsod-nams-rgya-mtsho (1543–88), while on a visit to the Mongol chief Altan Khan, received from that ruler the honorific title ta-le (Anglicized as “dalai”), the Mongolian equivalent of the Tibetan rgya-mtsho, meaning “ocean” and presumably suggesting breadth and depth of wisdom. The title was subsequently applied posthumously to the abbot’s two predecessors. The Tibetans themselves call the Dalai Lama Rgyal-ba Rin-po-che (“Precious Conqueror”).

The fourth Dalai Lama, Yon-tan-rgya-mtsho (1589–1617), was a great-grandson of Altan Khan and the only non-Tibetan Dalai Lama.

The next Dalai Lama, Ngag-dbang-rgya-mtsho (1617–82), is commonly called the Great Fifth. He established, with the military assistance of the Khoshut Mongols, the supremacy of the Dge-lugs-pa sect over rival orders for the temporal rule of Tibet. During his reign the majestic winter palace of the Dalai Lamas, the Potala, was built in Lhasa.

The sixth Dalai Lama, Tshangs-dbyangs-rgya-mtsho (1683–1706), was a libertine and a writer of romantic verse, not entirely suited for a seat of such authority. He was deposed by the Mongols and died while being taken to China under military escort.

The seventh Dalai Lama, Bskal-bzang-rgya-mtsho (1708–57), experienced civil war and the establishment of Chinese Manchu suzerainty over Tibet the eighth, ’Jam-dpal-rgya-mtsho (1758–1804), saw his country invaded by Gurkha troops from Nepal but defeated them with the aid of Chinese forces. The next four Dalai Lamas all died young, and the country was ruled by regents. They were Lung-rtogs-rgya-mtsho (1806–15), Tshul-khrims-rgya-mtsho (1816–37), Mkhas-grub-rgya-mtsho (1838–56), and ’Phrin-las-rgya-mtsho (1856–75).

The 13th Dalai Lama, Thub-bstan-rgya-mtsho (1875–1933), ruled with great personal authority. The successful revolt within China against its ruling Manchu dynasty in 1912 gave the Tibetans the opportunity to dispel the disunited Chinese troops, and the Dalai Lama reigned as head of a sovereign state.

The 14th Dalai Lama, Bstan-’dzin-rgya-mtsho (Tenzin Gyatso), was born Lhamo Thondup (also spelled Dhondup) in 1935 in what is currently Tsinghai province, China, of Tibetan parentage. He was recognized as the incarnation of the 13th Dalai Lama in 1937, enthroned in 1940, and vested with full powers as head of state in 1950. He fled to exile in India in 1959, the year of the unsuccessful revolt by Tibetans against communist Chinese forces that had occupied the country since 1950. The Dalai Lama set up a government-in-exile in Dharmsala, India, in the Himalayan Mountains. In 1989 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace in recognition of his nonviolent campaign to end Chinese domination of Tibet. In the first decade of the 21st century, the Dalai Lama suggested that his successor could be appointed by him rather than selected as his reincarnation this idea was rejected by the Chinese government, which declared that the tradition of appointing a new Dalai Lama had to be upheld. In 2011 he stepped down as head of the Tibetan government-in-exile. He has written a number of books on Tibetan Buddhism and an autobiography. (See Sidebar: A Call to Compassion.)


Dalai Lama, leader of Tibet, is born - HISTORY

His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, is the spiritual leader of Tibet. He was born on 6 July 1935, to a farming family, in a small hamlet located in Taktser, Amdo, northeastern Tibet. At the age of two the child, who was named Lhamo Dhondup at that time was recognized as the reincarnation of the 13th Dalai Lama, Thubten Gyatso. The Dalai Lamas are believed to be manifestations of Avalokiteshvara or Chenrezig, the Bodhisattva of Compassion and patron saint of Tibet. Bodhisattvas are enlightened beings who have postponed their own nirvana and chosen to take rebirth in order to serve humanity.

Education in Tibet

His Holiness began his monastic education at the age of six. The curriculum consisted of five major and five minor subjects. The major subjects were logic, Tibetan art and culture, Sanskrit, medicine, and Buddhist philosophy which was further divided into a further five categories: Prajnaparimita, the perfection of wisdom Madhyamika, the philosophy of the middle Way Vinaya, the canon of monastic discipline Abidharma, metaphysics and Pramana, logic and epistemology. The five minor subjects were poetry, music and drama, astrology, motre and phrasing, and synonyms. At 23 he sat for his final examination in the Jokhang Temple, Lhasa, during the annual Monlam (prayer) Festival in 1959. He passed with honours and was awarded the Geshe Lharampa degree, the highest-level degree equivalent to a doctorate of Buddhist philosophy.

Leadership Responsibilities

In 1950 His Holiness was called upon to assume full political power after China’s invasion of Tibet in 1949. In 1954, he went to Beijing for peace talks with Mao Zedong and other Chinese leaders, including Deng Xiaoping and Chou Enlai. But finally, in 1959, with the brutal suppression of the Tibetan national uprising in Lhasa by Chinese troops, His Holiness was forced to escape into exile. Since then he has been living in Dharamsala, northern India, the seat of the Tibetan political administration in exile. Since the Chinese invasion, His Holiness has appealed to the United Nations on the question of Tibet. The General Assembly adopted three resolutions on Tibet in 1959, 1961 and 1965.

Democratisation Process

In 1963 His Holiness presented a draft democratic constitution for Tibet that was followed by a number of reforms to democratise our administrative set-up. The new democratic constitution promulgated as a result of this reform was named “The Charter of Tibetans in Exile”. The charter enshrines freedom of speech, belief, assembly and movement. It also provides detailed guidelines on the functioning of the Tibetan government with respect to those living in exile.

In 1992 His Holiness issued guidelines for the constitution of a future, free Tibet. He announced that when Tibet becomes free the immediate task would be to set up an interim government whose first responsibility will be to elect a constitutional assembly to frame and adopt Tibet’s democratic constitution. On that day His Holiness would transfer all his historical and political authority to the Interim President and live as an ordinary citizen. His Holiness also stated that he hoped that Tibet, comprising of the three traditional provinces of U-Tsang, Amdo and Kham, would be federal and democratic. In May 1990, the reforms called for by His Holiness saw the realisation of a truly democratic administration in exile for the Tibetan community. The Tibetan Cabinet (Kashag), which till then had been appointed by His Holiness, was dissolved along with the Tenth Assembly of Tibetan People’s Deputies (Tibetan parliament in exile). In the same year, exile Tibetans on the Indian sub-continent and in more than 33 other countries elected 46 members to the expanded Eleventh Tibetan Assembly on a one-man one-vote basis. The Assembly, in its turn, elected the new members of the cabinet. In September 2001, a further major step in democratisation was taken when the Tibetan electorate directly elected the Kalon Tripa, the senior-most minister of the Cabinet. The Kalon Tripa in turn appointed his own cabinet who had to be approved by the Tibetan Assembly. In Tibet’s long history, this was the first time that the people elected the political leadership of Tibet.

In March 10, 2011, His Holiness spoke of his devolvement from the political leadership and stressed that the time has reaped for the new political leader. Subsequently, In March 14, His Holiness explicated in details on his plan of devolving the political leadership in his message to the Tibetan Parliament Assembly. Draft Amendments to the Charter of Tibetans were prepared and were put to deliberation in the national general meeting of Tibetans held in Dharamsala in May 2011. Based on the recommendations of the general meeting, the Tibetan Parliament convened an additional session from 25 – 28 May to give its final approval to amend the Charter. In May 29, 2011, His Holiness the Dalai Lama rectified the amendment to the Charters of Tibetans where all the powers are amended and divided among the elected leadership.

Peace Initiatives

In September 1987 His Holiness proposed the Five Point Peace Plan for Tibet as the first step towards a peaceful solution to the worsening situation in Tibet. He envisaged that Tibet would become a sanctuary a zone of peace at the heart of Asia, where all sentient beings can exist in harmony and the delicate environment can be preserved. China has so far failed to respond positively to the various peace proposals put forward by His Holiness.

The Five Point Peace Plan

In his address to members of the United States Congress in Washington, D.C. on 21 September 1987, His Holiness proposed the following peace plan, which contains five basic components:

  1. Transformation of the whole of Tibet into a zone of peace.
  2. Abandonment of China’s population transfer policy that threatens the very existence of the Tibetans as a people.
  3. Respect for the Tibetan people’s fundamental human rights and democratic freedoms.
  4. Restoration and protection of Tibet’s natural environment and the abandonment of China’s use of Tibet for the production of nuclear weapons and dumping of nuclear waste.
  5. Commencement of earnest negotiations on the future status of Tibet and of relations between the Tibetan and Chinese peoples.

Strasbourg Proposal

In his address to members of the European Parliament in Strasbourg on 15 June 1988, His Holiness made another detailed proposal elaborating on the last point of the Five Point Peace Plan. He proposed talks between the Chinese and Tibetans leading to a self-governing democratic political entity for all three provinces of Tibet. This entity would be in association with the People’s Republic of China and the Chinese Government would continue to remain responsible for Tibet’s foreign policy and defence.

Universal Recognition

His Holiness the Dalai Lama is a man of peace. In 1989 he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his non-violent struggle for the liberation of Tibet. He has consistently advocated policies of non-violence, even in the face of extreme aggression. He also became the first Nobel Laureate to be recognized for his concern for global environmental problems. His Holiness has travelled to more than 62 countries spanning 6 continents. He has met with presidents, prime ministers and crowned rulers of major nations. He has held dialogues with the heads of different religions and many well-known scientists. Since 1959 His Holiness has received over 84 awards, honorary doctorates, prizes, etc., in recognition of his message of peace, non-violence, inter-religious understanding, universal responsibility and compassion. His Holiness has also authored more than 72 books. His Holiness describes himself as a simple Buddhist monk.

Three Main Commitments

His Holiness has three main commitments in life.

Firstly, as a human being, His Holiness is committed to the promotion of human values such as compassion, forgiveness, tolerance, contentment and self-discipline. He says that as human beings we are all the same. We all want happiness and do not want suffering. Even people who do not believe in religion can benefit if they incorporate these human values into their lives. His Holiness refers to such human values as secular ethics or universal values. He is committed to talking about the importance of such values and sharing them with everyone he meets.

Secondly, as a religious practitioner, His Holiness is committed to the promotion of religious harmony and understanding among the world’s major religious traditions. Despite philosophical differences between them, all major world religions have the same potential to create good human beings. It is therefore important for all religious traditions to respect one another and recognize the value of their respective traditions. The idea that there is one truth and one religion is relevant to the individual practitioner. However, with regard to the wider community, we need to recognise that there are several truths and several religions.

Thirdly, His Holiness is a Tibetan and as the ‘Dalai Lama’ is the focus of the Tibetan people’s hope and trust. Therefore, his third commitment is to work to preserve Tibet’s Buddhist culture, which is a culture of peace and non-violence and protect the natural environment of Tibet.

In addition, His Holiness has lately spoken of his commitment to reviving awareness of the value of ancient Indian knowledge among young Indians today. His Holiness is convinced that the rich ancient Indian understanding of the workings of the mind and emotions, as well as the techniques of mental training, such as meditation, developed by Indian traditions, are of great relevance today. Since India has a long history of logic and reasoning, he is confident that its ancient knowledge, viewed from a secular, academic perspective, can be combined with modern education. He considers that India is, in fact, specially placed to achieve this combination of ancient and modern modes of knowing in a fruitful way so that a more integrated and ethically grounded way of being in the world can be promoted within contemporary society.

Short Biographies of the Previous Dalai Lamas

The First Dalai Lama, Gedun Drupa

The First Dalai Lama, Gedun Drupa, was born in 1391 in Gyurmey Rupa, near Sakya in the Tsang region of central Tibet to Gonpo Dorjee and Jomo Namkha Kyi, a nomadic family. His given name was Pema Dorjee.

He did his primary studies of reading and writing Tibetan script with Gya-Ton Tsenda Pa-La, and then at the age of fourteen, he took his novice vows from Khenchen Drupa Sherab, abbot of Narthang monastery, who gave him the religious name of Gedun Drupa. Latter, in the year 1411, he took the Gelong vows (full ordination) from the abbot.

The young Gedun Drupa was aware of the fame of the Great Tsongkhapa, the founder of the Gelugpa School and he became his disciple in 1416. His loyalty and devotion to Tsongkhapa persuaded the great master to make Gedun Drupa his principal disciple. Tsongkhapa handed Gedun Drupa a brand new set of robes as a sign that he would spread the Buddhist teachings all over Tibet. In 1447, Gedun Drupa founded the Tashi Lhunpo monastery in Shigatse, one of the biggest monastic Universities of the Gelugpa School.

The First Dalai Lama, Gedun Drupa was a great person of immense scholarship, famous for combining study and practice, and wrote more than eight voluminous books on his insight into the Buddha’s teachings and philosophy. In 1474, at the age of eighty-four, he died while in meditation at Tashi Lhunpo monastery.

The Second Dalai Lama, Gedun Gyatso

The Second Dalai Lama, Gedun Gyatso was born in 1475 in Tanag Sekme, near Shigatse in the Tsang region of central Tibet to Kunga Gyaltso and Machik Kunga Pemo, a farming family.

His father was a well-known tantric practitioner belonging to the Nyingmapa sect. When Gedun Gyatso was able to speak, he was reported to have told his parents that his name was Pema Dorjee, the birth name of the First Dalai Lama and that he would like to live in Tashi Lhunpo monastery. When he was conceived, his father had a dream in which someone dressed in white appeared and told him to name his son Gendun Drupa and also said that his son would be a person with the ability to recollect his past lives. However, his father named him Sangye Phel.

He received his primary education from his father and at the age of eleven he was recognized as the reincarnation of Gendun Drupa, the First Dalai Lama and was enthroned at Tashi Lhunpo monastery. In 1486, he took his novice vows from Panchen Lungrig Gyatso and his vows of Gelong (full ordination) from Choje Choekyi Gyaltsen, who gave him the ordained name of Gedun Gyatso. He studied at Tashi Lhunpo and Drepung monasteries.

In 1517, Gedun Gyatso became the abbot of Drepung monastery and in the following year, he revived the Monlam Chenmo, the Great Prayer Festival and presided over the events with monks from Sera, Drepung and Gaden, the three great monastic Universities of the Gelugpa Sect. In 1525, he became the abbot of Sera monastery. He died at the age of sixty-seven in 1542.

The Third Dalai Lama, Sonam Gyatso

The Third Dalai Lama, Sonam Gyatso was born in 1543 at Tolung, near Lhasa, to Namgyal Drakpa and Pelzom Bhuti, a rich family.

His parents had already had many children, but they had all died and to ward off any misfortune that might take away this newborn child from them, they fed him on the milk of a white goat and named him Ranu Sicho Pelzang – The prosperous one saved by goat’s milk.

In 1546, at the age of three, Sonam Dakpa Gyaltsen, the ruler of Tibet, and Panchen Sonam Dakpa recognized him as the reincarnation of Gedun Gyatso. He was escorted to Drepung monastery in a great procession and was enthroned and his hair was cut, symbolizing his renunciation of the world. He took novice vows from Sonam Dakpa at the age of seven and assumed the name of Sonam Gyatso. At the age of twenty-two, he took the Gelong vows (full ordination) of Bhiksu from Gelek Palsang.

In 1552, Sonam Gyatso became the abbot of Drepung monastery and in 1558, the abbot of Sera monastery. In 1574, he established the Phende Lekshe Ling in order to assist him in carrying out his religious activities, which is now known as Namgyal monastery and still serves as the Dalai Lama’s personal monastery. It was during his time, the Mongolian King Altan Khan offered him the title of Dalai Lama which literally means Ocean of Wisdom and in return, the Dalai Lama conferred on Altan Khan the title of Brahma, the king of religion. The Third Dalai Lama also founded Kumbum monastery in Tsongkhapa’s birthplace and Lithang monastery in Kham. In 1588, he died while teaching in Mongolia.

The Fourth Dalai Lama, Yonten Gyatso

The Fourth Dalai Lama, Yonten Gyatso, was born in 1589 in Mongolia to the Chokar tribal chieftain Tsultrim Choeje, who was the grandson of Altan Khan, and his second wife PhaKhen Nula.

With predictions from the state oracles and auspicious signs at his birth, the abbot of Gaden monastery recognized him as the true reincarnation of the Third Dalai Lama and he was given the name of Yonten Gyatso. His parents, however, refused to part with their son until he was older, so he received his primary religious education in Mongolia from Tibetan Lamas.

In 1601, at the age of twelve, Yonten Gyatso was escorted to Tibet accompanied by his father and the former Gaden throne holder, Sangya Rinchen, who bestowed the vows of novice monk on him. In 1614, at the age of twenty-six, he took the Gelong vows (full ordination) from the Fourth Panchen Lama, Lobsang Choegyal. He later became the abbot of Drepung monastery and then Sera monastery. In 1617, at the age of twenty-seven he died at Drepung monastery.

The Fifth Dalai Lama, Lobsang Gyatso

The Fifth Dalai Lama, Lobsang Gyatso, was born in 1617 in Lhoka Chingwar Taktse, south of Lhasa to Dudul Rabten and Kunga Lhanzi.

When Sonam Choephel, the chief attendant of the Fourth Dalai Lama heard of the exceptional abilities of the Chong-Gya boy, he paid a visit to the child and showed him articles belonging to the previous Dalai Lama. The boy at once said those belonged to him. Sonam Choephel kept the discovery of the Fifth Dalai Lama a secret because of the turbulent political situation. When things settled down, the Fifth Dalai Lama was taken to Drepung monastery where he was ordained into monkhood by the Third Panchen Lama, Lobsang Chogyal, and was given the name Ngawang Lobsang Gyatso.

The Fifth Dalai Lama was recognized at a time when Tibet was in political turmoil. However, all this uncertainty was laid to rest by Gushir Khan, the chief of the Qoshot Mongols and in 1642, the Dalai Lama was enthroned in the main hall of Shigatse as both the spiritual and political leader of Tibet. In 1645, the Dalai Lama held a meeting with high officials of Gaden Phodrang on the construction of the Potala Palace on the Red Hill, where the 33rd King of Tibet Songtsen Gampo had built a red fort. In the same year, the construction started and it took almost forty-three years to complete.

In 1649, Sunzhi, the Manchu emperor, invited the Dalai Lama to Peking. When he reached the Chinese province of Ningxia, he was greeted by the emperor’s minister and military commander who came with three thousand cavalry to escort the Tibetan leader. The emperor himself traveled from Peking and greeted him at a place called Kothor. In the Chinese capital, the Dalai Lama stayed at the Yellow Palace, built for him by the emperor. When the emperor officially met the Dalai Lama, the two of then exchanged titles. In 1653, the Dalai Lama returned to Tibet.

Gushir Khan died in 1655, as did Sonam Choephel, the Desi. The Dalai Lama appointed Gushir Khan’s son Tenzin Dorjee as the new Mongol king, and Drong Mey-Pa Thinley Gyatso succeeded the latter to the post of Desi. When the Manchu Emperor died in 1662, his son, K’ang-si, ascended the Manchu throne. In the same year the Panchen Lama died at the age of ninety-one. In 1665, after a petition from Tashilhunpo monastery, the Dalai Lama recognized a boy from Tsang region as the reincarnation of the late Panchen Lama and gave the boy the name of Lobsang Yeshi.

The Fifth Dalai Lama was a great scholar, well versed in Sanskrit. He wrote many books, including one on poetry. He also established two educational institutions, one for lay officials and another for monk officials, where they were taught Mongolian, Sanskrit, astrology, poetry, and administration. He was a man of few words, but what he said carried conviction and influenced rulers beyond the borders of Tibet. In 1682, at the age of sixty-five he died before completing the construction of the Potala Palace, however, not before entrusting the responsibility of the construction to Sangya Gyatso, the new Desi with the advice to keep his death secret for the time being.

The Sixth Dalai Lama, Tsangyang Gyatso

The Sixth Dalai Lama, Tsangyang Gyatso, was born in 1682 in the region of Mon Tawang in present-day Arunachal Pradesh, India to Tashi Tenzin and Tsewang Lhamo.

In order to complete the Potala Palace, Desi Sangye Gyatso carried out the wishes of the Fifth Dalai Lama and kept his death a secret for fifteen years. People were told that the Great Fifth was continuing his long retreat. On important occasions the Dalai Lama’s ceremonial gown was placed on the throne. However, when Mongol princes insisted on having an audience, an old monk called Depa Deyrab of Namgyal Monastery, who resembled the Dalai Lama, was hired to pose in his place. He wore a hat and eyeshadow to conceal the fact that he lacked the Dalai Lama’s piercing eyes. The Desi managed to maintain this charade till he heard that a boy in Mon exhibited remarkable abilities. He sent his trusted attendants to the area and in 1688, the boy was brought to Nankartse, a place near Lhasa. There he was educated by teachers appointed by the Desi until 1697, when the Desi sent his trusted minister, Shabdrung Ngawang Shonu to the Manchu court to inform Emperor K’ang-si of the death of the Fifth and discovery of the Sixth Dalai Lama. He announced the fact to the people of Tibet, who greeted the news with gratitude and joy and thanked the Desi for saving them from lamenting the setting of the sun and, instead, making them rejoice in its rising.

The Desi invited the Fifth Pachen Lama, Lobsang Yeshi, to Nankartse, where Tibet[s second highest religious leader administered the vows of a novice monk to the youth and named him Tsangyang Gyatso. In 1697, the fourteen-year old was enthroned as the Sixth Dalai Lama in a ceremony attended by Tibetan government officials representing the three major monasteries – Sera, Gaden, and Drepung – Mongol princes, representatives of Emperor K’ang-si and the Lhasa populace.

In 1701 there was a conflict between the Desi and Lhasang Khan, the descendant of Gushir Khan, and the latter killed the Desi Sangya Gyatso, which disturbed the young Dalai Lama. He left his monastic study and chose the outdoor life, he had no plans to take the fully ordained vows. In fact, he visited the Panchen Lama in Shigatse and requested his forgiveness, and renounced even the vows of a novice monk. Though he continued to live in the Potala Palace, he roamed around Lhasa and other outlying villages, spending his days with his friends in the park behind the Potala Palace and nights in taverns in Lhasa and Shol (an area below the Potala) drinking chang and singing songs. He was known to be a great poet and writer and he wrote several poems. In 1706, he was invited to China and died on the way.

The Seventh Dalai Lama, Kelsang Gyatso

In retrospect, the Tibetan believed that Tsangyang Gyatso predicted his own rebirth at Lithang in Kham when he wrote this song:

White crane, lend me your wings,
I go no farther than Lithang,
And thence, return again.

Sure enough, the Seventh Dalai Lama was born in 1708 to Sonam Dargya and Lobsang Chotso in Lithang, two years after the disappearance of the Sixth.

Thupten Jampaling Monastery, which was founded in Lithang by the Third Dalai Lama, was astonished by the wonders of the child and also the state oracles of Lithang had predicted that the newborn child would be the reincarnation of the late Dalai Lama. However due to the turbulent political situation, they could not escort the new Dalai Lama to Lhasa, and he was taken to Kumbum monastery, where he was ordained by Ngawang Lobsang Tenpai Gyaltsen.

In 1720, he was enthroned in the Potala Palace and he took the novice vows of monkhood from Panchen Lobsang Yeshi, who gave him the name Kelsang Gyatso. In 1726, during the auspicious month of Saka Dawa, he took the Gelong vows (full ordination) from Panchen Rinpoche. He sought the tutor of Panchen Lobsang Yeshi, the Abbot of Gyumey monastery and the Abbot of Shalu monastery, Ngawang Yonten, from whom he studied the entire major Buddhist philosophical treatises and became a master in both the sutra and tantra.

In 1751, at the age of forty-three, he constituted the ‘Kashag’ or council of ministers to administer the Tibetan government and then abolished the post of Desi, as it placed too much power in one man’s hand. The Dalai Lama became the spiritual and political leader of Tibet. At the age of forty-five, he founded the Tse-School in the Potala Palace and built the new palace of Norling Kalsang Phodrang. The Seventh Dalai Lama was a great scholar and wrote many books, especially on the tantra. He was also a great poet who, unlike Tsangyang Gyatso, dwelt on spiritual themes. His simple and unblemished life won him the hearts of all Tibetans. He died in 1757.

The Eighth Dalai Lama, Jamphel Gyatso

The Eighth Dalai Lama, Jamphel Gyatso, was born in 1758 at Thobgyal, Lhari Gang in the Tsang region of southwestern Tibet. His father, Sonam Dhargye, and mother, Phuntsok Wangmo, were originally from Kham and traced their ancestry to Dhrala Tsegyal, one of the legendary heroes of the Gesar epic.

As soon as Jamphel Gyatso was conceived, Lhari Gang was blessed with a bumper harvest with each stalk of barley bearing three, four and five ears – something unprecedented. When the mother and a relative were having their supper in the garden, a huge rainbow appeared, one end of which touched the mother’s shoulder. (This is regarded to be a very auspicious omen, associated with the birth of a holy being.) Not long after his birth, Jamphel Gyatso was frequently observed to be looking heavenward with a smile on his face. He was also seen to be attempting to sit in a meditative, lotus posture. When Palden Yeshi, the Sixth Panchen Lama, heard about this boy, he pronounced: This is the authentic reincarnation of the Dalai Lama.

As the child began to speak, he said: “I will go to Lhasa at the age of three”. Now the whole of Tibet was convinced that this child was the Eighth Dalai Lama. Darkpa Thaye, the chief attendent of the Seventh Dalai Lama, came to Lhasa with a large contingent of lamas and Tibetan government officials. They took the boy, then two and a half years old, to Tashi Lhunpo monastery in Shigatse, performed the recognition ceremony and the Panchen Lama gave the boy the name Jamphel Gyatso.

In 1762, the boy was escorted to Lhasa and enthroned in the Potala Palace. The enthronement ceremony was presided over by Demo Tulku Jamphel Yeshi, who was the first Regent to represent the Dalai Lamas when they were minors. At the age of seven, he took the novice vows of monkhood from the Panchen Lama and then he was fully ordained in 1777. In addition to his remarkable spiritual legacy, it was the Eighth Dalai Lama who built the famous Norbulingka Park and Summer Palace on the outskirts of Lhasa. In 1804, he died at the age of forty-seven.

The Ninth Dalai Lama, Lungtok Gyatso

The Ninth Dalai Lama, Lungtok Gyatso was born in 1805 in Dan Chokhor, a small village in Kham to Tenzin Choekyong and Dhondup Dolma.

In 1807, he was recognized as the reincarnation of the Eighth Dalai Lama and was escorted to Lhasa with great ceremony. In 1810, he was enthroned at the Potala Palace. He took his novice vows from the Pachen Lama, who gave him the name Lungtok Gyatso. Unfortunately, he died in 1815 at the very young age of nine.

The Tenth Dalai Lama, Tsultrim Gyatso

The Tenth Dalai Lama, Tsultrim Gyatso The Tenth Dalai Lama, Tsultrim Gyatso, was born in 1816 in Lithang in Kham to Lobsang Dakpa and Namgyal Bhuti.

In 1822, he was recognized and enthroned in the Potala Palace and in the same year, he took his novice vows of monkhood from the Panchen Lama, Tenpai Nyima who gave him the name Tsultrim Gyatso. In 1826, at the age of ten, he was enrolled in Drepung monastery where he studied various Buddhist philosophical texts and mastered both the sutra and tantra. In 1831, he reconstructed the Potala Palace and at the age of nineteen, he took the Gelong vows (full ordination) from the Panchen Lama. However, he was constantly in poor health and died in 1837.

The Eleventh Dalai Lama, Khedrup Gyatso

The Eleventh Dalai Lama, Khedrup Gyatso, was born in 1838 at Gathar in Kham Minyak to Tsetan Dhondup and Yungdrung Bhuti.

In 1841 he was recognized as the new Dalai Lama and the Panchen Lama, Tenpai Nyipa, cut his hair and gave him the name Khedrup Gyatso. In 1842, he was enthroned in the Potala Palace and at the age of eleven, he took the novice vows of monkhood from the Panchen Lama. Despite his young age, he assumed the responsibility of Tibetan spiritual and political leader at the request of the Tibetan people. However, he suddenly died in 1856 in the Potala Palace.

The Twelfth Dalai Lama, Trinley Gyatso

The Twelfth Dalai Lama, Trinley Gyatso was born in 1856 in Lhoka, a place near Lhasa to Phuntsok Tsewang and Tsering Yudon.

In 1858, the young boy as Dalai Lama was escorted to Lhasa where Reting Ngawang Yeshi Tsultrim Gyaltsen, the regent gave him the name Thupten Gyatso. In 1860, at the age of five he took the novice vows of monkhood from the Gaden Throne Holder Lobsang Khenrab and he was enthroned in the Potala Palace. In 1873, at the age of eighteen, he took on full responsibility as both spiritual and political leader of Tibet. In 1875, he died at the age of twenty in the Potala Palace.

The Thirteenth Dalai Lama, Thupten Gyatso

The Thirteenth Dalai Lama, Thupten Gyatso, was born in the Fire Mouse year of 1876 at Langdun in Dagpo, central Thakpo Tibet to Kunga Rinchen and Lobsang Dolma, a peasant couple.

In 1877, he was recognized as the reincarnation of the 12th Dalai Lama following predictions from the State Oracle Nechung and other auspicious signs at his birthplace. He was then escorted to Lhasa. In 1878 the Eighth Panchen Lama, Tenpai Wangchuk, performed the hair-cutting ceremony and gave him the name Ngawang Lobsang Thupten Gyatso Jigdral Chokley Namgyal. In 1879, he was enthroned in the Grand Reception Hall at the Potala Palace. Later that year, he received the Upasaka (Tib.: ge-nyen) vows from the Regent Tatsak Rinpoche, Ngawang Palden Yeshi. In 1882, at age six, the Thirteenth Dalai Lama was formally ordained as a novice monk (Tib.: ge-tsul) by the same Regent.

And in 1895 he took the full monk ordination (Tib.: ge-long) from his tutor, Phurchok Ngawang Jampa Rinpoche, in the Jokhang Temple, Lhasa, who served as both the Preceptor and Procedural Master of the ceremony. Phurbuchok was assisted by many eminent Buddhist masters of Tibet at that time, including Ling Rinpoche Lobsang Lungtok Tenzn Thinley and the Gaden Throne Holder, who served as the Secret Inquiry Master and so forth required by the ordination ceremony. On 27 September 1895 he finally assumed the political and spiritual authority of Tibet and was thrown into the thick of the Great Game played out by Czarist Russia and British India on the fringes of their sprawling empires. He went through the British invasion of Tibet in 1904 and the Chinese invasion of his country in 1909/10 but survived the ordeals of both experiences, with his authority enormously enhanced.

When the news spread in 1910 that Lu Chan, a Chinese General of the Manchu force, arrived in Lhasa, the Dalai Lama and some of the most important officials fled Lhasa and headed to India. The group crossed Dromo and held a negotiation with the Chinese invaders at the Jelep-la Pass, which separates Tibet and Sikkim.

In 1911, the Manchu Dynasty was overthrown and the Tibetans took this opportunity to expel the remnant Manchu forces from Tibet. The Dalai Lama returned to Tibet and went on to exercise an unprecedented political authority not seen since the reign of the Fifth Dalai Lama. Besides attempting to modernize Tibet, the Dalai Lama also tried to eliminate some of the more oppressive features of the Tibetan monastic system. During his exile in India, the Dalai Lama was fascinated by the modern world and he introduced the first Tibetan currency notes and coins. On 13 February 1913, he made public the five-point statement reasserting Tibet’s Independence. Also, in 1913 he established the first post office in Tibet and sent four young Tibetans to study engineering in England.

In 1914, he strengthened Tibet’s military force by organizing special training for the Tibetan army. In 1917 he established the Men-Tsee-Khang (Tibetan Medical and Astrology Institute) in Lhasa to preserve the unique traditional Tibetan medical and astrological systems. For that reason, he selected about a hundred young and intelligent students to train in Men-Tse-Khang. In 1923, he established a Police Headquarter in Lhasa for the security and welfare of the Tibetan people. In the same year he established the first English school of Tibet in Gyaltse. Sadly, he died in 1933 at the age of fifty-eight before accomplishing his goal for Tibet’s modernization.


Brief Biography

His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, describes himself as a simple Buddhist monk. He is the spiritual leader of Tibet. He was born on 6 July 1935, to a farming family, in a small hamlet located in Taktser, Amdo, northeastern Tibet. At the age of two, the child, then named Lhamo Dhondup, was recognized as the reincarnation of the previous 13th Dalai Lama, Thubten Gyatso.

The Dalai Lamas are believed to be manifestations of Avalokiteshvara or Chenrezig, the Bodhisattva of Compassion and the patron saint of Tibet. Bodhisattvas are realized beings inspired by a wish to attain Buddhahood for the benefit of all sentient beings, who have vowed to be reborn in the world to help humanity.

Education in Tibet
His Holiness began his monastic education at the age of six. The curriculum, derived from the Nalanda tradition, consisted of five major and five minor subjects. The major subjects included logic, fine arts, Sanskrit grammar, and medicine, but the greatest emphasis was given to Buddhist philosophy which was further divided into a further five categories: Prajnaparamita, the perfection of wisdom Madhyamika, the philosophy of the middle Way Vinaya, the canon of monastic discipline Abidharma, metaphysics and Pramana, logic and epistemology. The five minor subjects included poetry, drama, astrology, composition and synonyms.

At 23, His Holiness sat for his final examination in Lhasa’s Jokhang Temple, during the annual Great Prayer Festival (Monlam Chenmo) in 1959. He passed with honors and was awarded the Geshe Lharampa degree, equivalent to the highest doctorate in Buddhist philosophy.

Leadership Responsibilities
In 1950, after China's invasion of Tibet, His Holiness was called upon to assume full political power. In 1954, he went to Beijing and met with Mao Zedong and other Chinese leaders, including Deng Xiaoping and Chou Enlai. Finally, in 1959, following the brutal suppression of the Tibetan national uprising in Lhasa by Chinese troops, His Holiness was forced to escape into exile. Since then he has been living in Dharamsala, northern India.


In exile, the Central Tibetan Administration led by His Holiness appealed to the United Nations to consider the question of Tibet. The General Assembly adopted three resolutions on Tibet in 1959, 1961 and 1965.

Democratization Process
In 1963, His Holiness presented a draft democratic constitution for Tibet , followed by a number of reforms to democratize the Tibetan administration. The new democratic constitution was named "The Charter of Tibetans in Exile". The charter enshrines freedom of speech, belief, assembly and movement. It also provides detailed guidelines on the functioning of the Tibetan Administration with respect to Tibetans living in exile.

In 1992, the Central Tibetan Administration published guidelines for the constitution of a future, free Tibet. It proposed that when Tibet becomes free the first task will be to set up an interim government whose immediate responsibility will be to elect a constitutional assembly to frame and adopt a democratic constitution for Tibet. His Holiness has made clear his hopes that a future Tibet, comprising the three traditional provinces of U-Tsang, Amdo and Kham, will be federal and democratic.

In May 1990, as a result of His Holiness’s reforms the Tibetan administration in exile was fully democratized. The Tibetan Cabinet (Kashag), which until then had been appointed by His Holiness, was dissolved along with the Tenth Assembly of the Tibetan People's Deputies (the Tibetan parliament in exile). In the same year, exiled Tibetans living in India and more than 33 other countries elected 46 members to an expanded Eleventh Tibetan Assembly on a one-person one-vote basis. That Assembly then elected the members of a new cabinet.

In September 2001, in a further step towards democratization the Tibetan electorate directly elected the Kalon Tripa, the Chairman of the Cabinet. The Kalon Tripa appointed his own cabinet who then had to be approved by the Tibetan Assembly. This was the first time in Tibet's long history, that the people had elected their political leaders. Since the direct election of the Kalon Tripa, the custom by which the Dalai Lamas, through the institution of the Ganden Phodrang, have held temporal as well as spiritual authority in Tibet, has come to an end. Since 2011, when he devolved his political authority to the elected leadership, His Holiness has described himself as retired.

Peace Initiatives
On 21 September 1987 in an address to members of the United States Congress in Washington, DC, His Holiness proposed a Five-Point Peace Plan for Tibet as a first step towards a peaceful solution of the worsening situation in Tibet. The five points of the plan were as follows:

  1. Transformation of the whole of Tibet into a zone of peace.
  2. Abandonment of China's population transfer policy that threatens the very existence of the Tibetans as a people.
  3. Respect for the Tibetan people's fundamental human rights and democratic freedoms.
  4. Restoration and protection of Tibet's natural environment and the abandonment of China's use of Tibet for the production of nuclear weapons and dumping of nuclear waste.
  5. Commencement of earnest negotiations on the future status of Tibet and of relations between the Tibetan and Chinese peoples.


On 15 June 1988, in an address to members of the European Parliament in Strasbourg, His Holiness further elaborated on the last point of the Five-Point Peace Plan. He proposed talks between the Chinese and Tibetans leading to a self-governing democratic political entity for all three provinces of Tibet. This entity would be in association with the People's Republic of China and the Chinese Government would continue to be responsible for Tibet's foreign policy and defence.

Universal Recognition
His Holiness the Dalai Lama is a man of peace. In 1989 he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his non-violent struggle for the liberation of Tibet. He has consistently advocated policies of non-violence, even in the face of extreme aggression. He also became the first Nobel Laureate to be recognized for his concern for global environmental problems.

His Holiness has travelled to more than 67 countries spanning 6 continents. He has received over 150 awards, honorary doctorates, prizes, etc., in recognition of his message of peace, non-violence, inter-religious understanding, universal responsibility and compassion. He has also authored or co-authored more than 110 books.

His Holiness has held discussions with heads of different religions and participated in many events promoting inter-religious harmony and understanding.

Since the mid-1980s, His Holiness has engaged in a dialogue with modern scientists, mainly in the fields of psychology, neurobiology, quantum physics and cosmology. This has led to a historic collaboration between Buddhist monks and world-renowned scientists in trying to help individuals achieve peace of mind. It has also resulted in the addition of modern science to the traditional curriculum of Tibetan monastic institutions re-established in exile..

Political Retirement
On 14 March 2011 His Holiness wrote to the Assembly of Tibetan People's Deputies (Tibetan Parliament-in-exile) requesting it to relieve him of his temporal authority, since according to the Charter of the Tibetans in Exile, he was technically still the head of state. He announced that he was ending the custom by which the Dalai Lamas had wielded spiritual and political authority in Tibet. He intended, he made clear, to resume the status of the first four Dalai Lamas in concerning himself only with spiritual affairs. He confirmed that the democratically elected leadership would assume complete formal responsibility for Tibetan political affairs. The formal office and household of the Dalai Lamas, the Gaden Phodrang, would henceforth only fulfil that function.


On 29 May 2011 His Holiness signed the document formally transferring his temporal authority to the democratically elected leader. In so doing he formally put an end to the 368-year old tradition of the Dalai Lamas functioning as both the spiritual and temporal head of Tibet.

The Future
As far back as 1969, His Holiness made clear that whether or not a reincarnation of the Dalai Lama should be recognised was a decision for the Tibetan people, the Mongolians and people of the Himalayan regions to make. However, in the absence of clear guidelines, there was a clear risk that, should the concerned public express a strong wish to recognise a future Dalai Lama, vested interests could exploit the situation for political ends. Therefore, on 24 September 2011, clear guidelines for the recognition of the next Dalai Lama were published, leaving no room for doubt or deception.

His Holiness has declared that when he is about ninety years old he will consult leading Lamas of Tibet’s Buddhist traditions, the Tibetan public, and other concerned people with an interest in Tibetan Buddhism, and assess whether the institution of the Dalai Lama should continue after him. His statement also explored the different ways in which the recognition of a successor could be done. If it is decided that a Fifteenth Dalai Lama should be recognized, responsibility for doing so will rest primarily on the concerned officers of the Dalai Lama’s Gaden Phodrang Trust. They should consult the various heads of the Tibetan Buddhist traditions and the reliable oath-bound Dharma Protectors who are linked inseparably to the lineage of the Dalai Lamas. They should seek advice and direction from these concerned parties and carry out the procedures of search and recognition in accordance with their instruction. His Holiness has stated that he will leave clear written instructions about this. He further warned that apart from a reincarnation recognized through such legitimate methods, no recognition or acceptance should be given to a candidate chosen for political ends by anyone, including agents of the People’s Republic of China.


The 14th Dalai Lama has sat on the throne for more than eight decades

Recognized as the new Dalai Lama, the boy officially took the throne as the spiritual leader of Tibet at age 4 on February 22, 1940.

“In terms of a 4-year-old taking the throne, the dalai lamas had been on the Tibetan throne for over 250 years by then, so the country was used to it,” Gardner says. “Tibet didn’t make a distinction between religious and political power. The Dalai Lama was a god in human form (Chenrezig, the bodhisattva of compassion), and he was the head of state. He could teach the path to liberation and he could negotiate international treaties. Of course, there was a cabinet and an assembly and advisors of all sorts, but these also were all monks, so the religious and political power was all unified.”

But given that the Tibetan government operated with reincarnated successors, waiting until adulthood was not an option, Gardner adds.

“They would place the child on the throne, but the regent would continue to rule the country until the Dalai Lama came of age,” he says. “Other Tibetan incarnations are enthroned in a similar way, becoming the head of a monastery while just a few years old, with abbots and other administrators actually running the place.” 


The Dalai Lama: 10 facts about Tibet’s spiritual leader

NEW DELHI: Tibetans mark the 80th anniversary of the enthronement of their spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, on Saturday.

Ahead of the celebrations, here are ten facts about Tibet’s spiritual leader:

1. Born in 1935 as Lhamo Thondup, the current Dalai Lama was proclaimed as the reincarnation of his predecessor at the age of two, when he is said to have identified several of his possessions.

2. After a three-month journey from his home village he was enthroned on Feb. 22, 1940, at a ceremony in Lhasa, capital of the autonomous Tibet region that is now part of China.

3. China invaded Tibet in 1950. The teenage Dalai Lama assumed a political role shortly after, travelling to Beijing to meet Mao Zedong and other Chinese leaders.

4. After a failed Tibetan uprising against Chinese rule, the Dalai Lama fled to India in early 1959. He went into exile in the northern hill town of Dharamshala, where he still lives.

5. Since his flight from Tibet, China has accused the leader of being a dangerous separatist, and said any attempt to meet him is a “major offence”. In 2012, Beijing cancelled a planned visit by then-British Prime Minister David Cameron after he hosted the Dalai Lama in London.

6. The Dalai Lama wakes at 3am and meditates for several hours, according to a sample of his diary on his official website. After a breakfast of porridge and tsampa, a traditional barley flour, he spends the morning reading Buddhist texts, before holding audiences in the afternoon. He retires by 7pm.

7. His interests include cosmology, neurobiology, quantum physics and psychology, he told Reuters in an interview last year.

8. He has been granted dozens of honorary doctorates and awards for his leadership of the Tibetan community, including the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989.

9. The fourteenth Dalai Lama has said the decision whether to retain the role after his death will be made by the Tibetan people, not the Chinese government, which claims the right to choose his successor. “If the majority of (Tibetan people) really want to keep this institution, then this institution will remain,” he told Reuters.

10. Despite his veneration by Tibetans – and mistrust from China – the Dalai Lama says he spends most of his time on spiritual activities, not political affairs. “I always consider myself as a simple Buddhist monk,” he said on his official website. “I feel that is the real me.”


The Dalai Lama

The Dalai Lamas are believed by Tibetan Buddhists to be manifestations of Avalokiteshvara or Chenrezig, the Bodhisattva of Compassion and the patron saint of Tibet. Bodhisattvas are realized beings, inspired by the wish to attain complete enlightenment, who have vowed to be reborn in the world to help all living beings.

His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, describes himself as a simple Buddhist monk. He is the spiritual leader of Tibet. He was born on 6 July 1935, to a farming family, in a small hamlet located in Taktser, Amdo, northeastern Tibet. At the age of two, the child, then named Lhamo Dhondup, was recognized as the reincarnation of the previous 13th Dalai Lama, Thubten Gyatso.

His principal commitments

Firstly, as a human being, His Holiness is concerned with encouraging people to be happy—helping them understand that if their minds are upset mere physical comfort will not bring them peace, but if their minds are at peace even physical pain will not disturb their calm. He advocates the cultivation of warm-heartedness and human values such as compassion, forgiveness, tolerance, contentment and self-discipline. He says that as human beings we are all the same. We all want happiness and do not want suffering. Even people who have no religious belief can benefit if they incorporate these human values into their lives. His Holiness refers to such human values as secular ethics or universal values. He is committed to talking about the importance of such values and sharing them with everyone he meets.

Secondly, as a Buddhist monk, His Holiness is committed to encouraging harmony among the world’s religious traditions. Despite philosophical differences between them, all major world religions have the same potential to create good human beings. It is therefore important for all religious traditions to respect one another and recognize the value of their respective traditions. The idea that there is one truth and one religion is relevant to the individual practitioner. However, with regard to the wider community, he says, there is a need to recognise that human beings observe several religions and several aspects of the truth.

Thirdly, His Holiness is a Tibetan and as the ‘Dalai Lama’ is the focus of the Tibetan people’s hope and trust. Therefore, he is committed to preserving Tibetan language and culture, the heritage Tibetans received from the masters of India’s Nalanda University, while also speaking up for the protection of Tibet’s natural environment.

In addition, His Holiness has lately spoken of his commitment to reviving awareness of the value of ancient Indian knowledge among young Indians today. His Holiness is convinced that the rich ancient Indian understanding of the workings of the mind and emotions, as well as the techniques of mental training, such as meditation, developed by Indian traditions, are of great relevance today. Since India has a long history of logic and reasoning, he is confident that its ancient knowledge, viewed from a secular, academic perspective, can be combined with modern education. He considers that India is, in fact, specially placed to achieve this combination of ancient and modern modes of knowing in a fruitful way so that a more integrated and ethically grounded way of being in the world can be promoted within contemporary society.


34. China/Tibet (1950-present)

Crisis Phase (January 1, 1950-March 9, 1959): The People’s Republic of China (PRC) asserted its national sovereignty over the Tibetan region on January 1, 1950. Representatives of the PRC government and the Tibetan region held talks in Kalimpong, India beginning on March 7, 1950. The Chinese government demanded that representatives of Tibet arrive in Beijing by September 16, 1950, but Tibetan officials ignored the demand. PRC government troops entered the Tibetan region on October 7, 1950, and Chinese troops captured the town of Qamdo (Chamdo) on October 19, 1950. Tibetan officials requested military assistance from India. The spiritual leader of the Tibetan people, the Dalai Lama, referred the matter to the United Nations (UN) on November 11, 1950. The UN General Assembly condemned the Chinese invasion of the Tibetan region on November 18, 1950. On December 19, 1950, the Dalai Lama left Lhasa for the town of Yadong on the Tibetan-India border. Chinese and Tibetan representatives signed the Agreement of the Central People’s Government and the Local Government of Tibet on Measures for the Peaceful Liberation of Tibet in Beijing on May 23, 1951, which allowed the Dalai Lama to control internal affairs in Tibet. The Dalai Lama returned to Lhasa on 17 August 1951. Tibetans rebelled against the PRC government in eastern Tibet (Sichuan Province) beginning in May 1956. Qimai Gongbo led a rebellion against the PRC government in the Qamdo region beginning on July 21, 1956. The Dalai Lama traveled on an official visit to India from November 1956 to February 1957. The U.S. government provided military assistance (weapons, ammunition, training) to Tibetan rebels beginning in December 1956. On December 18, 1956, the UN General Assembly approved a resolution calling for the end of Chinese repression against the Tibetans. Khamba tribesmen rebelled against the Chinese government in eastern Tibet beginning in August 1958.

Conflict Phase (March 10, 1959-March 31, 1959): Tibetans began a rebellion against the PRC government in Lhasa on March 10, 1959. The Dalai Lama departed from Lhasa on March 17, 1959. Tibetan rebels launched attacks against Chinese government officials and troops on March 19, 1959, and Chinese troops launched a counter-offensive against the Tibetans on March 20, 1959. Chinese government troops captured Lhasa on March 25, 1959, resulting in the deaths of some 2,000 Tibetan rebels. The Chinese government dissolved the Tibetan government headed by the Dalai Lama on March 28, 1959, and the Panchen Lama assumed control of the Tibetan government on April 5, 1959. The Malayan government condemned the Chinese government’s use of military force against the Tibetans on March 30, 1959, and Prime Minister Nehru of India expressed support for Tibetan rebels on March 30, 1959. The Dalai Lama and some 80 supporters fled into exile in India on March 31, 1959. Some 87,000 Tibetans and 2,000 Chinese government troops were killed, and some 100,000 Tibetans fled as refugees to India, Nepal, and Bhutan during the conflict.

Post-Conflict Phase (April 1, 1959-present): The PRC government closed the monasteries in Tibet, and imposed Chinese law and custom in the region. The International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) established a seven-member commission of inquiry (Burma, Ceylon, Ghana, India, Malaya, Norway, Siam) headed by Purshottam Trikamdas of India on July 26, 1959. The Dalai Lama referred the matter of Tibet to UN Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjold on September 9, 1959. The UN General Assembly condemned China’s disrespect for human rights in Tibet on October 21, 1959. Some 340,000 Tibetans died during famines caused by economic reforms between 1960 and 1962. The Chinese government established the Tibetan Autonomous Region (TAR) on September 9, 1965. In 1974, the PRC government ended its repression of Tibet and granted amnesty to Tibetans who had earlier been imprisoned. The US CIA ended military assistance to Tibetan rebels in 1979. The Tibetan government-in-exile sent three fact-finding missions to Tibet from August 1979 to July 1980. Representatives of the Tibetan government-in-exile began a first round of talks with the PRC government in Beijing on April 24, 1982. A second round of talks began on October 19, 1984. Six Tibetans were killed during demonstrations in Lhasa on October 1, 1986, and some 500 individuals were arrested for their involvement in the demonstrations. On March 8, 1989, the PRC government imposed martial law and deployed 2,000 troops in Lhasa following several days of clashes between Tibetans and government police. Some 400 individuals were killed during clashes. Tibetans demonstrated against the PRC government in Lhasa beginning on September 27, 1989. The PRC government lifted martial law in Lhasa on May 1, 1990. Chinese government police shot and injured several Tibetans during protests near Lhasa on May 7-14, 1996. On May 20, 1996, Amnesty International (AI) condemned the government for the violent suppression of the Tibetan protesters. The European Union (EU) Parliament condemned China for its repression of Tibetans on May 23, 1996. The EU Parliament condemned China for human rights violations against Tibetans on March 13, 1997. The EU Parliament appealed for peaceful negotiations between the Chinese government and the Dalai Lama on May 14, 1998. Some 3,100 Tibetans fled as refugees to India in 1998. Some 128,000 Tibetans were refugees in neighboring countries in December 1998, including 110,000 refugees in India and 18,000 refugees in Nepal. The special envoy of the Dalai Lama held four rounds of talks with the PRC government from September 9, 2002 to July 1, 2005. Representatives of the Dalai Lama began a fifth round of talks with PRC government officials on February 16, 2006. Tibetans rioted against Chinese government rule in Lhasa and other Chinese provinces on March 14-16, 2008, resulting in the deaths of at least 19 individuals. Representatives of the Dalai Lama held talks in Beijing in July 2008. On October 27, 2009, the PRC government confirmed that two Tibetans were executed for their involvement in the March 2008 riots in Lhasa. Padma Choling, an ethnic Tibetan, was appointed as governor of Tibet by the PRC government on January 15, 2010. PRC government police raided a Tibetan Buddhist monastery in Sichuan Province on April 21, 2011, resulting in the deaths of two individuals. Lobsang Sangay was declared the winner of the election for prime minister of the Tibetan government-in-exile with 55 percent of the vote on April 26, 2011, and he was officially sworn in as prime minister in Dharamsala, India on August 7, 2011. Some 49,000 Tibetan exiles throughout the world cast ballots in the election. Jigme Gyatso, a Tibetan political prisoner since 1996, was released from prison by the PRC government on March 30, 2013.

[Sources: Amnesty International (AI) press release, May 20, 1996 Beijing Review, March 13-19, 1989, March 20-26, 1989, March 27-April 2, 1989 Bercovitch and Jackson, 1997, 69, 82-83 Brewer, 1986, 223-241 British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), March 14, 2008, March 16, 2008, April 29, 2008, May 3, 2008, May 5, 2008, July 1, 2008, April 8, 2009, October 27, 2009, January 15, 2010, July 22, 2010, April 23, 2011, April 27, 2011, August 8, 2011, February 1, 2013, April 2, 2013, April 25, 2013 Brogan, 1992, 169-182 Butterworth, 1976, 149-150, 212-213, 261-263 Clodfelter, 1992, 1153 Donelan and Grieve, 1973, 79-82 Facts on File, November 10-16, 1950, May 25-31, 1951, March 19-25, 1959, March 26-April 1, 1959, April 2-8, 1959, April 9-15, 1959 Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS), March 6, 1989, March 7, 1989, March 8, 1989, March 10, 1989, March 14, 1989, April 30, 1990 Grunfeld 1996 Keesing’s Record of World Events, May 9-16, 1959, November 7-14, 1959, February 1988, March 1989, May 1990 Langer, 1972, 1341 Los Angeles Times (LAT), March 8, 1989 New York Times (NYT), May 1, 1990, March 16, 2008 Richardson 1962 Smith 1996 Tillema, 1991, 215-216 Voice of America (VOA), November 5, 2012.]

Selected Bibliography

Grunfeld, A. Tom. 1996. The Making of Modern Tibet, revised edition. Armonk, NY and London: M. E. Sharpe.

Richardson, H. E. 1962. A Short History of Tibet. New York: E. P. Dutton & Co.

Smith, Warren W. 1996. Tibetan Nation: A History of Tibetan Nationalism and Sino-Tibetan Relations. Boulder, CO:
Westview Press.


Who Is the 14 TH Dalai Lama in Buddhism History?

Young Lhamo, who was renamed as Tenzin Gyatso, is the fourteenth Dalai Lama in Buddhism history. He was born on July 6, 1935, to a family living in a village called Takster in northeastern Tibet.

He was considered as a rebirth of Thubten Gyatso at a young age and hence was known to be the 14 th Dalai Lama in history. He is the head of state and Spiritual Leader for the Buddhist communities, and he is a prominent believer of Buddhist Philosophy. He is considered as the world leader, and his teachings of morals and values have made its way to the reason why is Dalai Lama a good leader.

Before the recognition of his honorary title as the 14 th Dalai Lama in the history of Buddhism, the Dalai Lama stayed in the summer palace for the study before he was enthroned and was recognized as the next Dalai Lama.

The Summer palace is world-famous for its most beautiful garden, and there is a presence of spring that could cure the disease, and hence it was often visited by Dalai Lama whenever they were sick. This place is called Norbulingka, which was built after the requisition was placed by the Imperial Minister of the Qing Dynasty in Tibet to the central Government. This was at first built as a resting place of the Dalai Lama, and after the assumption of power by the Dalai Lama, this was their summer palace.

Drepung Monastery was the residence of the Dalai Lama, which is located on the Gambo Utse Mountain in the suburbs of Lhasa in Tibet. It is considered as one of the and largest monasteries located all over the world. It has given shelter to more than ten thousand monks in Tibet.


Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama

Tenzin Gyatso is the fourteenth Dalai Lama of Tibetan Buddhism. He was born in 1935 and recognised as the reincarnation of Thubten Gyatso at a young age.

Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama

His Holiness, Tenzin Gyatso, was born Lhamo Dhondrub on July 6 1935 to a peasant family in the province of Amdo, in a village called Takster in northeastern Tibet.

The High Lamas of the Gelugpa tradition had been searching for many years for the next reincarnation of the Dalai Lama, but according to reports, there were incidents which marked out Lhamo as the correct child.

The face of the embalmed thirteenth Dalai Lama is reported to have mysteriously turned north east. This, combined with a vision a High Lama had when looking in the sacred lake Lhamo Lhatso, indicated that Amdo was the village they should search. Furthermore, the vision also clearly indicated a three storey monastery with a gold and turquoise roof, and another vision of a small house with odd guttering.

A monastery at Kumbum in Amdo fitted the description given by the High Lama and, after a careful search of the neighbouring villages, the house of Lhamo Dhondrub was identified. Lhamo was around three years old at the time.

The search party went to his home and observed him without revealing their reasons. They came back a few days later with the formal intention of performing the final test.

They presented some items to the child, including a mala, or rosary, and a bell that belonged to the deceased Dalai Lama. Lhamo instantly identified the items shouting "It's mine, it's mine!"

At just over five years old, he was enrolled in the local monastery and began his training. He was also trained by the highest monks in the land at Lhasa, Tibet’s capital city, at that time his official residence. He was enthroned at the age of 15 in 1950 amidst the start of troubles with China, but continued to study until the age of 25, receiving the highest honours available.

The young Lhamo Dhondrub, who was renamed Jamphel Ngawang Lobsang Yeshe Tenzin Gyatso, took leadership of a country that was, according to traditional maps, still a Chinese province.

Around 1950, the political landscape of China was changing. Plans were made to bring Tibet officially under Chinese control. But in March 1959, Tibetans took to the streets demanding an end to Chinese rule. Chinese People’s Republic troops crushed the revolt and thousands were killed.

Fearing that the Chinese government would kill him, the Dalai Lama fled from Tibet to India with thousands of followers, where he was welcomed by Indian Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru.

Nehru gave him permission to form The Tibetan Government in Exile in Dharamsala in India. The Dalai Lama, and the refugees who followed him, created a society in which Tibetan language, culture, arts and religion are promoted.

He is the first Dalai Lama to travel to the West, and his charismatic manner has helped to draw much support for Buddhism and the Tibetan resistance movement.

In 1989 he received the Nobel Peace Prize for maintaining a policy of non violence with the Chinese government, despite the knowledge that many Tibetans would be happy to take up armed resistance to return him to his position as their leader.


Watch the video: Dalai Lama: Tibet Within China (May 2022).