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Dalai Lama


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Dalai Lama Biography

The Dalai Lama is a high lama in the Gelug or 'Yellow Hat' school of Tibetan Buddhism, founded by Tsongkhapa (1357–1419). The name is a combination of the Mongolian word dalai meaning 'vast sea' and the Tibetan word lama (bla-ma) meaning 'guru, teacher, mentor.' According to Tibetan Buddhist doctrine, the Dalai Lama is the rebirth in a line of tulkus who are considered to be manifestations of the bodhisattva of compassion, Avalokiteśvara. The Dalai Lama is often thought to be the leader of the Gelug School but this position belongs officially to the Ganden Tripa, which is a temporary position appointed by the Dalai Lama who, in practice, exerts much influence. The line of Dalai Lamas began as a lineage of spiritual teachers; the 5th Dalai Lama assumed political authority over Tibet.

The 14th Dalai Lama (religious name: Tenzin Gyatso, shortened from Jetsun Jamphel Ngawang Lobsang Yeshe Tenzin Gyatso, born Lhamo Dondrub, 6 July 1935) is the current Dalai Lama, as well as the longest lived incumbent. Dalai Lamas are the head monks of the Gelugpa lineage of Tibetan Buddhism. He won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989 and is also well known for his lifelong advocacy for Tibetans inside and outside Tibet.

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