His Holiness the Dalai Lama

Dalai LamaFrom the book “The mind of the Guru”, Rahiv Mehrotra.

His Holiness the fourteenth Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, was born into a peasant family in a small village in north-eastern Tibet. His Holiness was recognized at the age of two as an incarnation of Avalokitesvara, the Buddha of Compassion. He began his education at six and completed his Doctorate of Buddhist Philosophy in 1959.

On 17 November 1950, His Holiness was called upon to assume full political power (head of the state and government) after some 80,000 Peoples Liberation Army soldiers from China invaded Tibet. In 1959, His Holiness escaped to India, where he was granted political asylum. Some 80,000 Tibetan refugees followed His Holiness into exile. Since 1960, he has resided in Dharamsala, India, known as ‘Little Lhasa’, the seat of Tibetan Government-in-Exile.

Today he is Buddhism’s pre-eminent monk and embodies the temporal and spiritual aspirations of millions of Tibetans. His universal message of compassion and altruism and non-violence have made him a global statesman for our troubled times.

A number of Western universities and institutions have conferred peace awards and honorary doctorate degrees in recognition of His Holiness writings in Buddhist philosophy and for his leadership in the solution of international conflicts, human rights issues and global environmental problems. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989.

His Holiness follows the life of a Buddhist monk. Living in a small cottage in Dharamsala, he rises at 4 a.m. to meditate, and then gets down to his schedule of administrative meetings, private audiences and religious teachings and ceremonies. He concludes each day with further prayer before retiring.

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