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Dalai Lama Biography

Posted On March 15th, 2010 By Celebrity Biographies

“Old friends pass away, new friends appear. It is just like the days. An old day passes, a new day arrives. The important thing is to make it meaningful: a meaningful friend – or a meaningful day – Dalai Lama”

Dalai Lama

Dalai Lama

His holiness Dalai Lama, also known as Tenzin Gyatso, happens to be the 14th head of the state as well as the spiritual leader of Tibet. He was born to a family of farmers on July 6th, 1935, in a small village situated in north-eastern part of Tibet: Taktset, Amdo. He was named Lhamo Dhondup and by the age of two, he was believed to be the reincarnation of Thubten Gyatso, Dalai Lama the 13th. The Dalai Lamas are the patron saints of Tibet, known to be the manifestations of Chenrezig or Avalokiteshvara.

Education

His holiness Dalai Lama initiated his ascetic education when he was six years old. His course structure included five minor and five major subjects. The major subjects included Tibetan art & culture, logic, medicine, Sanskrit and Buddhist ideology. The Buddhist philosophy was later divided into five different categories such as Prajnaparimita, Madhyamika, Vinaya, Abidharma and Pramana. He chose the five minor categories as astrology, music and drama, poetry, synonyms and phrasing. He appeared for his concluding examination at the age of 23 during the annual prayer festival of 1959 in the Jokhang Temple in Lhasa. He passed the examination with honours and was also awarded the highest level degree (Geshe Lharampa). Such a degree is equivalent to the doctorate of Buddhist ideology.

Leadership Responsibilities

His holiness, Dalai Lama was invited to grant complete political power in the year 1950, after China invaded Tibet in 1949. He later went to Beijing in 1954 and conducted peace talks with Chinese leaders such as Mao Zedong, Chou Enlai and Deng Xiaoping. However, in the year 1959, with the brutal revolt against the Tibet national uprising by the Chinese troops in Lhasa, Dalai Lama was required to exile. He then escaped to Dharamsala in Northern India, which is also the place for Tibetan administration in exile. Ever since the invasion of China, Dalai Lama has requested to the UN (United Nations) committee about the condition of Tibet.

Democratization Process

In the year 1963, Dalai Lama was given a draft of the democratic constitution of Tibet, which led to a number of reforms so as to democratise the administrative set-up. He issued some important guidelines in 1992, for the future constitution of free Tibet. He proclaimed that when Tibet would become free, it would require an interim government who would then elect the constitutional assembly to strategise the democratic constitution of Tibet. His holiness would then transfer all of his chronological and political authorities to the provisional President and continue to live his life as an ordinary man. According to him, he wanted all the three provinces of Tibet (Amdo, U-Tsang and Kham) to be democratic. The reforms formed by Dalai Lama, saw its realisation in May 1990. Another major step in democratisation was taken in September 2001, when the Tibetan electorate directly appointed the most senior minister of the cabinet, Kalon Tripa. He was the first minister to elect his own cabinet that had to be approved by the Tibetan Assembly. This was the first time in the history of Tibet that the masses appointed the leaders.

Peace Initiatives

His Holiness planned the “Five Point Peace Prize” in September 1987, which was considered to be the first step towards improving the worsening conditions in Tibet. He often spoke of his vision of Tibet, which involved the country to become a sanctuary. Dalai Lama worked towards making the country, a region of peace where all beings can survive in harmony and preserve the environment. So far, China has failed to respond to several peace proposals brought into existence by His Holiness. The “Five Year Peace Plan” comprised of the basic components such as bringing about peace in the country, abandoning the population transfer policy of China, respecting the fundamental and democratic rights of the Tibetans, protecting the natural environment of the country and abandoning the use of nuclear weapons and nuclear waste from China.

The Strasbourg Proposal

During his address to the European Parliament members on June 15, 1988 in Strasbourg, he elaborated on the peace plan. He proposed peace talks between Tibet and China, leading to democratic government entity for all the provinces of Tibet. Such an entity would be in association with the Chinese Government and would continue to be responsible for the foreign policy and defense of China.

Global Recognition

Dalai Lama is known to be the man of peace. In the year 1989, he was given the Nobel Prize for Peace to recognise his non-violent effort for the liberty and freedom of Tibet. He consistently propagated policies of truth and non-violence, while facing extreme aggression. He was one of the first Nobel Laureates identified for this concern over environmental problems all across the globe.

Dalai Lama has traveled across 62 countries, stretched across 6 continents. He has had meetings with rulers, prime ministers and presidents of prominent nations. He has also held conferences with different spiritual leaders and renowned scientists. Ever since 1959, he was won more than 84 awards, prizes and honorary doctorates for his efforts on peace, inter-religious tolerances, compassion as well as universal responsibility. He has authored 72 books so far and yet he addresses himself as a mere Buddhist monk.


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