Dalai Lama


Dalai Lama Essay, Research Paper

The Dalai Lama

By developing a sense of respect for others and a concert for their welfare, we reduce

our own selfishnes. which is the source of all problems, and enhance our sense of

kindness which is a natural source of goodness.

-14th Dalai Lama

His Holiness The 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, is the spiritual

leader of the Tibetan people. He was born on July 6, 1935 in a small

village called Taktser in north-eastern Tibet. He was named Lhamo

Dhondrub, and at the age of two he was recognized as the

reincarnation of the 13th Dalai Lama.

In 1935, the regent of Tibet went to the sacred lake of Lhamo

Lhatso where he had visions of where to search for the 14th Dalai

Lama. The secret visions included many signs, among them a

monastery with roofs of jade green and gold, and a house with

turquoise tiles. Lama Kewtsang Rinpoche of Sera Monastery was put in

charge of a search party. They found a place which matched the

description of the secret vision seen in the waters of Lhamo Lhatso; the

place was called Amdo. Kewtsang Rinpoche disguised himself as a

servant, and wore a mala that had belonged to the 13th Dalai Lama.

The junior official Lobsang Tsewang was disguised as the leader.

The search party found the house with turquoise tiles and asked

to meet the special little boy. Immediately, upon seeing the mala, the

little boy recognized it and asked that it be given to him. Kewtsang

Rinpoche promised to give him the mala if he could guess who he

was. The boy replied that he was “Sera aga,” which in the local dialect

means “a lama of Sera. ” The boy also correctly identified and named

the leader and a servant. Then the boy was put through a series of

tests that included identifying various articles that had belonged to the

13th Dalai Lama. All other signs of the secret vision also fit perfectly,

and the search party was convinced they had found the reincarnation

of the 13th Dalai Lama. The 14th Dalai Lama was enthroned in 1940.

His Holiness The Dalai Lama started his education at the age of

six. At 24, he successfully completed the preliminary examinations at

the following three universities: Drepung, Sera, Ganden. At 25, he took

his final examination in the Jokhang, Lhasa, and was awarded the

highest Geshe Lharampa Degree (Doctorate of Buddhist Philosophy).

His Holiness assumed political power in 1949 and 1950. He went

to Beijing in 1954 and participated in peace talks with Mao Tse-Tung

and other Chinese leaders, including Deng Xiao-Ping. After Chinese

troops suppressed the Tibetan National Uprising in Lhasa in 1959, The

Dalai Lama was forced into exile. Since then, His Holiness has been

living in Dharamsala, India, the seat of the Tibetan


In the interest of promoting peace, His Holiness appealed to the

United Nations on the question of Tibet. The UN General Assembly

adopted three resolutions in 1959, 1961, and 1965, calling on China to

respect the human rights of Tibetans and their desire for

self-determination. In 1992, His Holiness issued a Policy document

which states that he will give up his historical and political authority

and live as a private citizen when Tibet regains its independence.

In 1987, His Holiness proposed a Five Point Peace Plan as a

peaceful solution to the deteriorating conditions in Tibet. His vision is to

make Tibet into a world sanctuary — a peace zone in the heart of Asia

where all beings can exist in harmony, and where the environment is

protected and can flourish for generations to come.

In 1989, His Holiness was awarded The Nobel Prize for Peace for

his policies of non-violence and his peaceful struggle for the liberation

of Tibet. He is the first Nobel Laureate to be recognized for his concerns

for global environmental problems.

The Tibetan Government-in-Exile was established in Dharamsala,

India by His Holiness, and contains many reforms. The

Government-in-Exile is based on modern democratic principles, and

has three branches of government: executive, legislative, and judicial,

with a clear separation of powers.

There is a Kashag (Council of Ministers), which in the highest

executive authority. The Kashag comprises various departments, such

as: Home, Education, Finance, Health, International Relations, etc. The

Assembly of Tibetan People’s Deputies (ATPD) select the members of

the Kashag.

The ATPD (Parliament) is the legislative branch of the Tibetan

Government-in-Exile. It established the Charter of Tibetans in Exile, the

current constitution of the Tibetan Government-in-Exile. The Tibetans in

exile have universal suffrage and directly elect the ATPD.

The Tibetan Supreme Justice Commission is the highest judicial

branch and guardian of the Charter of Tibetans in Exile. This

commission address all grievances that are made against the

Administration. In 1963, His Holiness presented a democratic

constitution as a model for a free Tibet. This constitution is based on

Buddhist principles and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

During the past 36 years in exile, he has continually stressed the need

to further democratize the Tibetan Government-in-Exile, and has

introduced various democratic reforms. There are over 130,000

Tibetans in exile, many living in India and Nepal and in more than 33

different countries in the West. Tibetans in exile have endeavored to

gain experience in the democratic system of government, and have

worked hard to establish various religions and cultural institutions to

preserve and promote their identity.

The Central Tibetan Administration, with the assistance of the

government of India and various international voluntary organizations,

has successfully rehabilitated Tibetan refugees in agricultural centers,

agro industrial settlements, and handicraft centers throughout India

and Nepal. There are Tibetan schools in India, Nepal and Bhutan, with

a student enrollment of 23,000.

The Norwegian Nobel Committee awarding the prize to The

XIVth The Dalai Lama, said : “The committee wants to emphasize the

fact that The Dalai Lama in his struggle for the liberation of Tibet

consistently has opposed the use of violence. He has instead

advocated peaceful solutions based upon tolerance and mutual

respect in order to preserve the historical and cultural heritage of his


His Holiness, accepting the Nobel Peace Prize, remarked: “The

prize reaffirms our conviction that with truth, courage, and

determination as our weapons, Tibet will be liberated. Our struggle

must remain non violent and free of hatred.”

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