Biography of the Dalai Lama

Dalai Lama XIV, the political leader of Tibet, who fought for the establishment on its territory of a democratic state, independent of China.

Early years

Lhamo Thondup was born on July 6, 1935 in the Chinese town of Tatskir, north-east of Tibet, to a peasant family.

Following many signs, the spiritual ministers found him when the boy was only two years old, recognizing in him the reincarnation of the 13th Dalai Lama, Thupten Gyasto. He was proclaimed the 14th Dalai Lama, receiving the name of Tengjin Gyasto at the dedication.

It is believed that the Dalai Lama is the embodiment of Avalokiteshvara, one of the main deities in Buddhism, the personification of compassion, and an initiate who abandoned his own life after death for the sake of regeneration for the benefit of mankind. The title “Dalai Lama” in translation means “spiritual teacher, deep, like the ocean”.

Dedication to the Dalai Lama

His religious education

Tengjin began at the age of 6 years. He studied logic, Tibetan art and culture, Sanskrit, medicine and Buddhist philosophy, which, in turn, is further subdivided into five categories, including the perfection of wisdom, monastic discipline, metaphysics, logic and epistemology, the doctrine of knowledge.

In 1950, at the age of 15, Tengjing received the full political power of the Dalai Lama. But his reign will not last long. In October this year, China, almost without encountering resistance, occupies Tibet. In 1954, the Dalai Lama went to China for peace talks with Mao Zedong and other Chinese leaders. However, in 1959, the unabated oppression of the Tibetan people by Chinese troops led to an uprising. The Dalai Lama, along with his closest advisers and several thousand followers, flees to Damsala, to northern India, and there he creates his own alternative government.

Conflict with China

Since the Chinese conquest, the Dalai Lama has been making multiple attempts to create an autonomous Tibetan state within the borders of the People’s Republic of China. In 1963, he wrote a draft constitution

of Tibet, in which he proposed a series of reforms to democratize the administration of the region.

In the 1960s, the Central Intelligence Agency, with the knowledge and full support of the Dalai Lama, sponsored the creation and training of Tibet forces to resist the Chinese invaders. However, the program ends in failure, carrying with it thousands of lives of fighters for independence.

In September 1987, the Dalai Lama, in an effort to take the first step towards reconciliation with the Chinese government and resolve the controversial situation, proposes the Five Points of the Peace Plan, one of which Tibet should become a refuge for the enlightened, in which they can exist in peace and harmony nature. On June 15, 1988, the Dalai Lama initiates negotiations in Strasbourg with the participation of the Chinese and Tibetan parties, which should lead to the establishment of a self-governing democratic political entity in Tibet.

But in 1991, the Tibetan government in exile proclaimed the Strasbourg proposal invalid in connection with the initially biased treatment of the Chinese authorities.

Humanitarian activities

The Dalai Lama is the spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism, and therefore, according to the bodhisattva traditions, he devoted his life to serving for the benefit of mankind. He wrote numerous works, held hundreds of conferences and lectures and became a member of leading universities and institutes around the world, addressing in his speeches and works the questions of striving for life in wisdom and sympathy for fellowmen, and more recently, the problems of preserving the environment. The Dalai Lama, unlike his predecessors, met with many Western leaders.

More than once he took part in interfaith services and met with heads of other religions.

In 1989, the Dalai Lama was awarded the Nobel Prize for non-violent attempts to liberate Tibet and participate in environmental issues. Recently, in recognition of his outstanding works on Buddhist philosophy, as well as his unquestionable leadership in the struggle for freedom and peace, he received a number of awards for his contribution to peace and honorary doctoral degrees from Western universities and institutes.

The struggle for peace

In the midst of preparations for the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Tibet has unrest, hoping to attract the attention of the world press, and as a token of protest against the increasing oppression of the people by the Chinese authorities. The Dalai Lama at the same time calls for calm and condemns the Chinese aggression.

Today, President Hu Jintao does nothing to restore peace in Tibet. In December 2008, the Dalai Lama, having experienced an operation to remove gallstones, announces his partial withdrawal from cases.

On March 10, 2011, the day of the 52nd anniversary of his expulsion from Tibet, he declares that he completely renounces his role as political leader. The Dalai Lama explains his decision with a long and firm conviction that the head of Tibet should be one whom the people freely choose.


The true essence of existence is manifested in sympathy.

Be kind when it’s possible. And this is always possible.

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Biography of the Dalai Lama