Google Virtual Kidspace | Informative,Educative and Entertaining
Home » , » Who is Dalai Lama?

Who is Dalai Lama?

A Brief Biography 

His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, is both the head of state and 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.

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: 

Transformation of the whole of Tibet into a zone of peace.
Abandonment of China's population transfer policy that threatens the very existence of the Tibetans as a people.

Respect for the Tibetan people's fundamental human rights and democratic freedoms.
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.
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.

Awards and Honors

DateName of the AwardAwarded byCountry
May 24, 2012Honorary CitizenshipCity of Huy, HuyBelgium
May 22, 2012Udine City KeyCity of Udine, UdineItaly
May 20, 2012Carinthia State Gold MedalCarinthia StateAustria
May 18, 2012Gold Medal of KlagenfurtCity of Klagenfurt, KlagenfurtAustria
May 14, 2012Templeton PrizeJohn Templeton Foundation, West ConshohockenU.S.A.
April 26, 2012Honorary DegreeLoyola University, ChicagoU.S.A.
December 2, 2011Dayanand Modi Award for Art, Culture and Education 2011Dayawati Modi Foundation, New DelhiIndia
October 9, 2011Mahatma Gandhi International Award for Reconciliation and PeaceThe Gandhi Development Trust, DurbanSouth Africa
September 5, 2011Doctor Honoris CausaIndira Gandhi National Open University, New DelhiIndia
August 18, 2011Doctor Honoris CausaUniversity of Tartu, TartuEstonia
July 13, 2011Lifetime Achievement AwardCaring Institute, WashingtonU.S.A.
May 11, 2011Doctor Honoris CausaUniversity of Arkansas, FayettevilleU.S.A.
May 9, 2011Doctor Honoris CausaSouthern Methodist University, DallasU.S.A.
May 8, 2011Doctor Honoris CausaUniversity of Minnesota, MinneapolisU.S.A.
May 4, 2011Shine A Light AwardAmnesty International USA, Los AngelesU.S.A.
November 23, 2010Doctor Honoris CausaJamia Millia Islamia University, New DelhiIndia
October 21, 2010Harry T. Wilkes Leadership AwardHarry T. Wilks Foundation, OxfordU.S.A.
October 21, 2010Doctor Honoris CausaMiami University, OxfordU.S.A.
October 20, 2010International Freedom AwardNational Underground Railroad Freedom Center, CincinnatiU.S.A.
September 21, 2010Menschen in Europa AwardMenschen in Europa, PassauGermany
September 18, 2010Honorary CitizenshipCity of Budapest, BudapestHungary
May 23, 2010President's MedalHunter College, New YorkU.S.A.
May 18, 2010Doctor Honoris CausaUniversity of Northern Iowa, Cedar FallsU.S.A.
March 18, 2010Nirmala Deshpande Memorial Award for Peace and Global HarmonyGandhi Ashram Reconstruction TrustIndia
February 23, 2010Baccalaureate Honoris CausaBroward College, DavieU.S.A.
February 19, 2010Democracy Service MedalNational Endowment for Democracy, WashingtonU.S.A.
October 6, 2009The Lantos Human Rights PrizeLantos Foundation for Human Rights and Justice, WashingtonU.S.A.
September 30, 2009
Doctor Honoris CausaUniversity of Calgary, Calgary Canada
September 27, 2009Prize for Love and ForgivenessFetzer Institute, VancouverU.S.A.
September 23, 2009International Freedom AwardNational Civil Rights Museum, MemphisU.S.A.
August 3, 2009Doctor Honoris CausaUniversity of Marburg, MarburgGermany
July 29, 2009Honorary CitizenshipCity of Warsaw, WarsawPoland
June 7, 2009
Honorary CitizenshipCity of Paris, ParisFrance
February 10, 2009 German Media PrizeEditors of Germany, Baden BadenGermany
February 10, 2009Honorary Citizenship City of Venice, VeniceItaly 
February 9, 2009Honorary CitizenshipCity of Rome, RomeItaly
December 8, 2008Doctor Honoris CausaJagiellonian University, KrakowPoland
July 25, 2008Global Leadership AwardAspen Institute, AspenUSA
July 13, 2008Doctor Honoris CausaLehigh University, BethlehemU.S.A.
April 14, 2008Doctor Honoris CausaUniversity of Washington, SeattleU.S.A.
Oct. 22, 2007 Presidential Distinguished Professor Emory University, Atlanta U.S.A.
October 17, 2007 U.S. Congressional Gold Medal U.S. Congress, WashingtonU.S.A. 
October 8, 2007 Ahimsa Award Institute of Jainology, London U.K. 
September 20, 2007Doctor Honoris Causa University of Muenster, Muenster Germany
June 8, 2007 Doctor Honoris Causa Southern Cross University, MelbourneAustralia 
May 12, 2007 BILD Award BILD Magazine, Germany Germany 
May 9, 2007 Doctor Honoris Causa Smith College, Northampton U.S.A. 
December 10, 2006 Order of the White Lotus Republic of Kalmykia, Russian Federation Kalmykia 
October 14, 2006 Doctor Honoris CausaUniversity of Rome 3, Rome Italy 
September 19, 2006Doctor Honoris Causa University of Buffalo, New York U.S.A. 
September 9, 2006 Honorary Citizenship Canada Canada 
May 4, 2006Doctor Honoris CausaUniversity of Santiago, SantiagoChile
February 16, 2006Ben Gurion Negev AwardBen Gurion University, Be'er ShevaIsrael
November 6, 2005Inspiration & Compassion AwardAmerican Himalayan Foundation, San FranciscoU.S.A.
September 25, 2005 Doctor Honoris Causa Rutgers University, New Jersy U.S.A. 
August 12, 2005 Manhae Peace Prize Manhae Foundation South Korea 
July 27, 2005 Hessian Peace Prize Parliament of Hesse, Wiesbaden Germany 
October 7, 2004 Doctor Honoris Causa Universidad Iberoamericana, Mexico City Mexico 
October 5, 2004 The Gold Medal National University of Mexico (UNAM), Mexico CityMexico 
September 27, 2004 Doctor Honoris Causa University of Costa Rica, San Jose Costa Rica 
September 24, 2004 Doctor Honoris Causa University of Puerto Rico, San Juan Puerto Rico
September 23, 2004 Doctor Honoris Causa University of Miami U.S.A. 
September 18, 2004 Doctor Honoris Causa Nova Southeastern University, Miami U.S.A. 
May 28, 2004 Humphreys Memorial Award for Services to Buddhism Buddhist Society of U.K. U.K. 
April 27, 2004 International Acharya Sushil Kumar Peace AwardUniversity of Toronto, TorontoCanada 
April 27, 2004 Doctor Honoris Causa University of Toronto Canada 
April 20, 2004 Doctor Honoris Causa Simon Fraser University, VancouverCanada
April 19, 2004Doctor Honoris Causa University of British Columbia, VancouverCanada 
April 16, 2004 2nd Citizens Peace Building Award University of California, IrvineU.S.A. 
October 9, 2003 Award for Promotion of Human RightsFoundation Jaime Brunet, Madrid Spain 
September 19, 2003 Human Right AwardInternational League for Human Rights, New YorkU.S.A.
September 5, 2003Doctor Honoris CausaUniversity of San FranciscoU.S.A. 
June 3, 2003 Manfred Bjorkquist MedalSigtuna Foundation, StockholmSweden
December 5, 2002Basavashree Award Basavakendra, Sri Murugha Math, ChitradurgaIndia
November 7, 2002Doctor Honoris CausaMongolian University of Science & TechnologyMongolia
November 7, 2002Doctor Honoris CausaNational University of MongoliaMongolia
October 14, 2002Human Rights Prize University of GrazAustria 
July 6, 2002Man of the YearCroatian Academic SocietyCroatia
May 21, 2002Peace Award 2000UN Association of AustraliaAustralia 
December 5, 2001Doctor Honoris CausaUniversity of Tromso Norway
November 26, 2001Doctor Honoris CausaUniversity of Lusiada Porto Portugal
June 10, 2001Ecce homo OrderKancelaria Kapituly OrderuPoland
October 16, 2000Doctor Honoris CausaComenius University, BratislavaSlovakia


Post a Comment

Get our Android App

Get our Android App