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Amir Amanullah Khan Award (Afghanistan)

Society & Philosophy

Dalai Lama

Dalai Lama
PART – 1

• Dalai Lama is a title given to spiritual leaders of the Tibetan people. They are part of the Gelug or “Yellow Hat” school of Tibetan Buddhism, the newest of the schools of Tibetan Buddhism.The 14th and current Dalai Lama is Tenzin Gyatso.

• The Dalai Lama is also considered to be incarnations of Avalokiteśvara, a Bodhisattva of Compassion. According to the 14th Dalai Lama, long ago Avalokiteśvara had promised the Buddha to guide and protect the Tibetan people.

• The Dalai Lama lineage started from humble beginnings. ‘Pema Dorje’ (1391–1474), the boy who was to the first in the line, was born in a cattle pen in Shabtod, Tsang in 1391.



14TH DALAI LAMA(Tenzin Gyatso)

• Lhamo Thondup was born on 6 July 1935 to a farming and horse trading family in the small hamlet of Taktser at the edges of the traditional Tibetan region of Amdo.

• He was one of seven siblings to survive childhood. The eldest was his sister Tsering Dolma, eighteen years his senior. His eldest brother, Thupten Jigme Norbu, had been recognised at the age of eight as the reincarnation of the high Lama Taktser Rinpoche.

• His sister, Jetsun Pema, spent most of her adult life on the Tibetan Children’s Villages project. Following reported signs and visions, three search teams were sent out to the north-east, the east, and the south-east to locate the new incarnation when the boy who was to become the 14th Dalai Lama was about two years.

14TH DALAI LAMA(Tenzin Gyatso)

• Amongst other omens, the head of the embalmed body of the thirteenth Dalai Lama, at first facing south-east, had turned to face the north-east, indicating, it was interpreted, the direction in which his successor would be found.

• He gave the names of three boys.The Panchen Lama had been investigating births of unusual children in the area ever since the death of the 13th Dalai Lama and identified as candidates.

• Within a year the Panchen Lama had died. Two of his three candidates were crossed off the list but the third, a “fearless” child, the most promising, was from Taktser village, which, as in the vision, was on a hill. There they found a house, as interpreted from the vision—the house where Lhamo Dhondup lived.


• From 1936 Muslim warlord Ma Bufang ruled Qinghai as its governor under the nominal authority of the Republic of China central government.

• Ma Bufang had seized this north-east corner of Amdo in the name of Chiang Kai-shek’s weak government and incorporated it into the Chinese province of Qinghai.

• They knew that if he was declared to be the Dalai Lama, the Chinese government would insist on sending a large army escort with him, which would then stay in Lhasa and refuse to budge.

• Ma Bufang then refused to allow him to depart unless he was declared to be the Dalai Lama, but withdrew this demand in return for 100,000 Chinese dollars ransom in silver to be shared amongst them, to let them go to.


• Lhasa.Kewtsang managed to raise this, but the family was only allowed to move from Xining to Kumbum when a further demand was made for another 330,000 dollars ransom.

• Two years of diplomatic wrangling followed before it was accepted by Lhasa that the ransom had to be paid be paid to avoid the Chinese getting involved and escorting him to Lhasa with a large army.

• Meanwhile, the boy was kept at Kumbum where two of his brothers were already studying as monks and recognised incarnate lamas.

• Furthermore, the Indian government helped the Tibetans raise the ransom
funds. Released from Kumbum, on 21 July 1939 the party travelled across Tibet in an epic journey to Lhasa in the large Muslim caravan with Lhamo Thondup, now 4 years old, riding with his brother Lobsang in a special palanquin carried by two mules, two years after
being discovered.


• As soon as they were out of Ma Bufang’s area, he was officially declared to be the 14th Dalai Lama by the Central Government of Tibet and after ten weeks of travel he arrived in Lhasa on 8 October 1939.

• Monastic name of Tenzin Gyatso were given to him.Tibetan Buddhists normally refer to him as Yishin Norbu (Wish-Fulfilling Gem), Kyabgon (Saviour), or just Kundun (Presence). His devotees, as well as much of the Western world, often call him His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

• In 1959, at the age of 23, he took his final examination at Lhasa’s Jokhang Temple . He passed with honours and was awarded the Lharampa degree, the highest-level geshe degree, roughly equivalent to a doctorate in Buddhist philosophy


• In 1939, at the age of four, the present Dalai Lama was taken in a procession of lamas to Lhasa. The Dalai Lama’s childhood was then spent between the Potala Palace and Norbulingka, his summer residence, both of which are now UNESCO World Heritage sites.

• Panchen Lama and Dalai Lama had many conflicts in Tibetan history. Dalai Lama’s formal rule was brief. He sent a delegation to Beijing, which, without his authorization, ratified the Seventeen Point Agreement for the Peaceful Liberation of

• He went to the Chinese capital to meet Mao Zedong and attend the first session of the National People’s Congress as a delegate, primarily discussing China’s constitution. On 27 September 1954, the Dalai Lama was selected as a Vice chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, a post he officially held until 1964.


• At the outset of the 1959 Tibetan uprising, fearing for his life, the Dalai Lama and his retinue fled Tibet with the help of the CIA’s Special Activities Division.

• Crossing into India on 30 March 1959, reaching Tezpur in Assam on 18 April.Some time later he set up the Government of Tibet in Exile in Dharamshala.

• India, which is often referred to as “Little Lhasa”. After the founding of the government in exile he re-established the approximately 80,000 Tibetan refugees who followed him into exile in agricultural settlements.

• He created a Tibetan educational system in order to teach the Tibetan children the language, history, religion, and culture. The Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts was established in 1959 and the Central Institute of Higher Tibetan Studies became the primary university for Tibetans in India in 1967.


• He supported the refounding of 200 monasteries and nunneries in an attempt to preserve Tibetan Buddhist teachings and the Tibetan way of life.

• The Dalai Lama appealed to the United Nations on the rights of Tibetans. This appeal resulted in three resolutions adopted by the General Assembly in 1959, 1961, and 1965,all before the People’s Republic was allowed representation at the United Nations.The resolutions called on China to respect the human rights of Tibetans.

• In 1963, he promulgated a democratic constitution which is based upon the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, creating an elected parliament and an administration to champion his cause. In 1970, he opened the Library of Tibetan Works and Archives in Dharamshala.

• In 2016, there were demands from Indian politicians of different political parties and citizens to confer His Holiness The Dalai Lama the prestigious Bharat Ratna, the highest civilian honour of India which has only been awarded to a Non-Indian citizen twice in its history

PART – 2

• At the Congressional Human Rights Caucus in 1987 in Washington, D.C., the Dalai Lama gave a speech outlining his ideas for the future status of Tibet. The plan called for Tibet to become a democratic “zone of peace” without nuclear weapons, and with support for human rights.

• The plan would come to be known as the “Strasbourg proposal”, There, he proposed the creation of a self-governing Tibet “in association with the People’s Republic of China.” This would have been pursued by negotiations with the PRC government, but the plan was rejected by the Tibetan Government-in-Exile in 1991.

• The Dalai Lama has indicated that he wishes to return to Tibet only if the People’s Republic of China agrees not to make any precondition for his return.

• In October 2008 in Japan, the Dalai Lama addressed the 2008 Tibetan violence that had erupted and that the Chinese government accused him of fomenting


• The Dalai Lama is an advocate for a world free of nuclear weapons, and currently serves on the Advisory Council of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation.

• Giving public talks for non-Buddhist audiences and interviews and teaching Buddhism to large public audiences all over the world, as well as to private groups at his residence in India, appears to be the Dalai Lama’s main activity.

• Despite becoming 80 years old in 2015 he maintains a busy international lectures and teaching schedule. His public talks and teachings are usually webcast live in multiple languages, via an inviting organisation’s website, or on the Dalai Lama’s own website.

• The Dalai Lama’s best known teaching subject is the Kalachakra tantra.The Kalachakra (Wheel of Time) is one of the most complex teachings of Buddhism.


• The Dalai Lama is the author of numerous books on Buddhism,

• In Dalai Lama’s essay, “The Ethic of Compassion” (1999), he expresses his belief that if we only reserve compassion for those that we love, we are ignoring the responsibility of sharing these characteristics of respect and empathy with those we do not have relationships with, which cannot allow us to “cultivate love.”

• He elaborates upon this idea by writing that although it takes time to develop a higher level of compassion, eventually we will recognize that the quality of empathy will become a part of life and promote our quality as humans and inner strength.

• He often asserts that ‘Tibetan Buddhism’ is based on the Buddhist tradition of Nalanda monastery in ancient were brought to Tibet and translated into Tibetan when Buddhism was first established there and have remained central to the teachings of Tibetan Buddhism ever since.


• In 1988 he was in London once more to give a series of lectures on Tibetan Buddhism in general, called ‘A Survey of the Paths of Tibetan Buddhism’. Again in London in 1996 he taught the Four Noble Truths, the basis and foundation of Buddhism accepted by all Buddhists.

• In India, the Dalai Lama gives religious teachings and talks in Dharamsala and numerous other locations including the monasteries in the Tibetan refugee settlements, In India, no fees are charged to attend these teachings since costs are covered by requesting sponsors.

• Dozens of videos of recorded webcasts of the Dalai Lama’s public talks on general subjects for non-Buddhists like peace, happiness and compassion, modern ethics, the environment, economic and social issues, gender, the empowerment of women and so forth can be viewed in his office’s archive.


• The Dalai Lama’s lifelong interest in science and technology dates from his childhood in Lhasa, Tibet, when he was fascinated by mechanical objects like clocks, watches, telescopes, film projectors, clockwork soldiers and motor cars, and loved to repair, disassemble and reassemble them.

• He has also said that had he not been brought up as a monk he would probably have been an engineer. The Dalai Lama sees important common ground between science and Buddhism that comes from observation and analysis of phenomena.

• Over the ensuing decades, as of 2014 at least 28 dialogues between the Dalai Lama and panels of various world-renowned scientists have followed, held in various countries and covering diverse themes, from the nature of consciousness to cosmology and from quantum mechanics to the neuroplasticity of the brain.

• Apart from time spent teaching Buddhism and fulfilling responsibilities to his Tibetan followers, the Dalai Lama has probably spent, and continues to spend, more of his time and resources investigating the interface between Buddhism and science.


• he Dalai Lama says that he is active in spreading India’s message of nonviolence and religious harmony throughout the world. “I am the messenger of India’s ancient thoughts the world over.” • He has said that democracy has deep roots in India. He says he considers India the master and Tibet its disciple, as great scholars went from India to Tibet to teach Buddhism. He has noted that millions of people lost their lives in violence and the economies of many countries were ruined due to conflicts in the 20th century.


• In 1993, the Dalai Lama attended the World Conference on Human Rights and made a speech titled “Human Rights and Universal Responsibility”.

• In April 2013, the Dalai Lama openly criticised Buddhist monks’ attacks on Muslims in Myanmar.


• The Dalai Lama has referred to himself as a Marxist and has articulated criticisms of capitalism.

• I am not only a socialist but also a bit leftist, a communist. In terms of social economy theory, I am a Marxist. I think I am farther to the left than the Chinese leaders. [Bursts out laughing.] They are capitalists.

• At that time, he reports, “I was so attracted to Marxism, I even expressed my wish to become a Communist Party member”, citing his favorite concepts of self-sufficiency and equal distribution of wealth. He does not believe that China implemented “true Marxist policy”,.

• Moreover, he believes one flaw of historically “Marxist regimes” is that they place too much emphasis on destroying the ruling class, and not enough on compassion.

• Despite this, he finds Marxism superior to capitalism, believing the latter is only concerned with “how to make profits”, whereas the former has “moral ethics”.


• Stating in 1993:

Of all the modern economic theories, the economic system of Marxism is founded on moral principles, while capitalism is concerned only with gain and profitability. Marxism is concerned with the distribution of wealth on an equal basis and the equitable utilisation of the means of production. It is also concerned with the fate of the working classes—that is, the majority—as well as with the fate of those who are underprivileged and in need, and Marxism cares about the victims of minority-imposed exploitation. For those reasons the system appeals to me, and it seems fair. I just recently read an article in a paper where His Holiness the Pope also pointed out some positive aspects of Marxism


• The Dalai Lama is outspoken in his concerns about environmental problems, frequently giving public talks on themes related to the environment.

• He has pointed out that many rivers in Asia originate in Tibet, and that the melting of Himalayan glaciers could affect the countries in which the rivers flow.

• He acknowledged official Chinese laws against deforestation in Tibet, but lamented they can be ignored due to possible corruption. He was quoted as saying “ecology should be part of our daily life”; personally, he takes showers instead of baths, and turns lights off when he leaves a room.

• Around 2005, he started campaigning for wildlife conservation, including by issuing a religious ruling against wearing tiger and leopard skins as garments.

• May 2011, the Dalai Lama retired from the Central Tibetan Administration