When you think of the most famous Buddhist in the world, you think of monks and you think of the Buddha, Siddhartha Gautama. But the most inspirational monk in the entire world is the Dali Lama. The Dali Lama, Tenzin Gyato, is the 14th Dali Lama in the history and has been successful in spreading inspiration, love, joy, happiness, and peace throughout his time as the leader. His coming to becoming the Dali Lama is a special process and his job/role as a leader, inspiration of millions is special. The current Dali Lama, Tenzin Gyato, is the 14th Dali Lama in history.
He was born on July 6, 1935. His original name was Lhamo Thondup. The process of finding the next Dali Lama is a tedious one. When the Dali Lama dies, his soul doesn’t go to heaven but is instead reincarnated or phowa the process of transference of conscious around the time of death. (“How the Dalai Lama is Chosen”, 2013) After this happens, his followers or a committee of comprised of High Lamas and Tibetan governmental officials begin the search for him or her. They begin to look for the boy and the overall process could take anywhere from two to five years.
There are three different ways that they can locate the Dali Lama. One is a high lama having a ream about where the boy may be. The second is if the Dali Lama is cremated then the lamas will watch which direction the smoke goes in. Lastly, the lamas go Lhamo Latso which is a holy lake in Tibet and look for a sign or meditate and hope to have a vision of where he may be. They first start this journey by consulting the Nechung Oracle or the official seer of Tibet. The high lamas usually travel to Lhama Latso because it was made sacred to the Dali Lamas.
A spirit, Palden Lhamo made a promise to protect their reincarnation there. At this place, the high lamas mediate at a lake and have visions to help guide hem towards the Dali Lama. A vision a High Lama had when looking in the lake told him that Amdo was the village they should search. Part of the vision included a three story monastery with a gold and turquoise roof, and another of a small house with odd guttering (“BBC – Religions – Buddhism: Dalai Lama”, 2006) They did their search and found him and spent a couple of days observing the child. He was three years old at the time.
They came back a couple of days later and brought three items. They brought a mala, and a bell that belonged to the deceased Dali Lama. The child said those are ine. This indicates that the Dali Lama must have reincarnated himself as this little boy and they have found the Dali Lama. After they found him they brought him to the monastery in Lhasa which is Tibet’s capital city. At five he began his training. He was trained by the highest monks in the land. 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.
He received the highest honors possible. Since China was planning on taking complete control of Tibet, the Dalai Lama feared this and fled to India. Thousands of his ollowers followed him in fear that they would be taken over by the Chinese and to follow the teachings of their leader. He is the first Dalai Lama to travel west since all the others have always stayed within Tibet to practice. When they got to India, the Dalai Lama wanted to continue his teaching to his refugees. He oversaw the creation of new Tibetan administrative departments.
These included the Departments of Information, Education, Home, Security, Religious Affairs and Economic Affairs. Most of the Tibetan refugees, whose number had grown to almost 30,000, were moved to road-building camps in the hills of northern India. “Birth to Exile”) The Dalai Lama hoped to bring Buddhism to India now that Tibet was no longer safe for his people. The Dalai Lama has tried since he arrived in India to end the conflict or reach a resolution with China so his people can go back to Tibet. In 1963, he issued a draft constitution for Tibet containing a number of reforms to democratize the government.
Called the Charter of Tibetans in Exile, it grants freedom of speech, belief, assembly, and movement. It also provides detailed guidelines for Tibetans living in exile. The Dalai Lama gave consent to the CIA to train Tibetan forces to resist China’s oppression. It was a failure and most likely was to help the United States bring democracy to the South east region of Asia. The conflict extended for another 25 years before resolution was drafted. On September 1987, the Dalai Lama proposed the Five Point Peace Plan. This was the first steps in a peaceful solution to work with the Chinese government.
The plan proposed that Tibet would become a safe haven where people can exist in peace and the environment can be preserved. On June 15, 1988, the Dalai Lama spoke to members of the European Parliament. (“Dalai Lama”, 2015) There he proposed talks between the Chinese and Tibetans that would ead to a self-governing democratic political entity for Tibet. The tential Chinese and Tibetans would be associated under the same government and China would be responsible for Tibet’s foreign policy and defense. There is no resolution today but the two live not at war with one another.
The Chinese government has tried taking down pictures of the Dalai Lama in Tibet and have handed out textbooks to citizens in Tibet. These were written in Tibet but had the Chinese ideologies in them to try and convince the children of what is right. In 1989 the Dalai Lama was awarded the prestigious Nobel Peace prize. This was for his continuous role with finding piece for his people. He stressed nonviolent efforts to make peace with China. He also is a strong advocator of global warming and put extreme stress on it during this time.
The Committee’s citation stated, “The Committee wants to emphasize the fact that 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. ” (“Dalai Lama”, 2015) On March 14, 2011 he announced that he was ending the ustom by which the Dalai Lamas had wielded spiritual and political authority in Tibet.
He will resume the status of the first four Dalai Lamas in concerning himself only with spiritual affairs. He said that the democratically elected would assume responsibility for Tibetan political affairs. He has been under scrutiny from his fellow peers because of his stance on reincarnation for himself. He said that when he is about ninety years old he will talk to all of his peers which range from council members to anyone concerned with the future of Buddhism and assess whether the institution of the Dalai Lama hould continue after him. “Brief Biography”)
He feels that the process of picking the Dalai Lama should change potentially as well. He doesn’t want his successor to be an agent of China after the hardships they have put him and his people through. The Dalai Lama speaks nationally at the United Nations and thousands of organizations to spread peace and love throughout the world today. In 2015 he had to cancel many speaking events over concern of his health. The Dalai Lama only wants peace for the world and to prevent global warming. He wants the best for his Tibetan people and the best for everyone else in the world.