Dalai Lama XIV (Ngagwang Lovzang Tenjing Gyamtsholisten)) is the spiritual leader of the followers of Tibetan Buddhism. Laureate of the Nobel Peace Prize (1989). Until April 27, 2011, he also headed the Tibetan government in exile (he was replaced by Lobsang Sangai).
The 14th Dalai Lama, Tenjing Gyamtsho, is the spiritual leader of the Tibetan people. Tibetan Buddhists believe that the Dalai Lamas are the earthly incarnations of Avalokitesvara (Chenrezig), the Bodhisattva of Compassion; they are born here to serve the people. Recognized by the Dalai Lama, Lhamo Dhondrub received a new name - Zhetsun Champel Ngagwang Yeshe Tenjin Gyamtsho.
Place of Birth. Education. The Dalai Lama XIV was born on July 6, 1935 into a poor peasant family in the small village of Taktser, located in the northeast of Tibet in the province of Amdo. Now these lands are part of the Chinese province of Qinghai. His father, Choykyon Tsering, and mother, Sonam Tsomo (her name was later changed to Diki Tsering), grew oats, wheat, and potatoes. At birth, he was given the name Lhamo Thondup, "wish-fulfilling goddess." In Tibet, when choosing names, the gender of the baby is not taken into account, so the future Dalai Lama received a female name. Lhamo was the ninth of sixteen children in the family (survived - seven). The oldest was his sister Tsering Drolma. The elder brother, Thubten Jigme Norbu, was recognized as the reincarnation of the high lama Taktser Rinpoche, and later became the abbot of one of the most famous monasteries in Tibet - Kumbum. Another brother, Lobsang Samten, also became a monk.
In 1909, the 13th Dalai Lama, making a pilgrimage to holy places, visited the village of Taktser. He noted the beauty of this place and said that he would like to return here again. In 1937, after the death of the 13th Dalai Lama, a special group of lamas arrived in the village of Taktser, looking for his new incarnation. After appropriate tests (in particular, when he was shown various relics and toys of the previous Dalai Lama, he said: "This is mine, this is mine!"), two-year-old Lhamo Thondrub was recognized as the reincarnation of his predecessor. The 14th Dalai Lama himself believes that not all incarnations of the Dalai Lamas were genuine. He is convinced that he is the incarnation of the 5th Dalai Lama (who is known in Tibet for his merit as the "Great Fifth"), as in his childhood he had a lot of vivid dreams associated with this past life.
The Dalai Lama studied from the age of six to twenty-five to obtain the highest degree of Geshe Lharamba ("Doctor of Buddhist Philosophy"). At the age of twenty-four, he passed the preliminary examinations at the three main monastic universities in Tibet: Drepung, Ser and Ganden. The final examinations were held in the main temple of Lhasa during the annual prayer festival (monlam) in the winter of 1959. On the morning of the examination day, the Dalai Lama took examinations in logic for thirty scholars. In the afternoon he engaged in a philosophical debate with fifteen scholars. In the evening, thirty-five scholars examined him on questions of monastic discipline and metaphysics. The Dalai Lama passed all the exams brilliantly in the presence of more than 20,000 learned monks and received the title of Geshe Lharamba.
Ascension to the throne. The eastern region of Tibet, where the village of Taktser was located, was under the control of China. After lengthy negotiations between the Tibetan government and the local administration, on July 10, 1939, 4-year-old Lhamo left his parental home in the direction of the capital of Tibet as part of a large caravan. Three months later, in October 1939, the caravan arrived in Lhasa.
The Dalai Lama was enthroned on February 22, 1940 in Lhasa, the capital of the Tibetan state. After the Chinese Communists invaded Tibet in 1949 and in the 1950s and approved the Agreement for the Peaceful Liberation of Tibet in 1951, he attempted peaceful coexistence with the PRC central government for nine years. After the suppression of the anti-Chinese uprising, he was forced to leave Lhasa on the night of March 17, 1959, to seek refuge in India. Since that time he has been living in Dharamsala (Himachal Pradesh), where the Tibetan government-in-exile is located.
Chairman of the Tibetan government in exile. In March 2011, the Dalai Lama announced his resignation as the political leader of Tibet in favor of a democratically elected government, while stressing that he would remain the spiritual leader of the Tibetans.
Shortly thereafter, popular elections were held, which resulted in the 44-year-old lawyer Lobsang Sangay becoming the prime minister of Tibet. To formally transfer power, the Dalai Lama signed amendments to the Tibetan constitution. The amended version of the constitution recognizes the legitimacy of the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA), in particular its democratically elected institutions, as the legitimate representative of the Tibetan people. Previously, these responsibilities were assigned to both the CTA and the Dalai Lama. The Dalai Lama himself is defined by the new constitution as "the protector and symbol of Tibet and the Tibetan people."
social position. The Dalai Lama recalls that Buddhism considers abortion to be murder, but notes that there may be exceptions if the child has a serious mental retardation or his birth will create a serious problem for the parents, therefore, abortion should be accepted or condemned depending on the specific situation.
In Tibet, meat is the most common food item, which is why it so happened historically that Tibetan monks, including the Dalai Lama, eat meat. For some time the Dalai Lama was a vegetarian, but after suffering from an ulcer, doctors advised him to return meat to his diet. So it was quite a surprise when the Dalai Lama flew to the US and was offered a vegetarian menu while visiting the White House, to which he stated, "I'm a Buddhist monk, not a vegetarian."
In 2001, the Dalai Lama told a Seattle school girl that it was okay to shoot someone with a gun if they were trying to kill you, but added that the shot should not be fatal.
In 2012, the Dalai Lama wrote on his Facebook blog: "I am increasingly convinced that it is time to look for spirituality and ethics outside of religion."
Awards. Nobel Peace Prize. In September 1987, the Dalai Lama proposed a political program called the Zone of Ahimsa or the Zone of Peace (English Zone of Ahimsa), which consists in expanding "a completely demilitarized zone of non-violence, which he proposes to make Tibet first, to the size of the globe." The program assumes that Tibet, as a zone of peace, will be freed from all types of weapons and will be a place of harmonious coexistence between man and nature.
In October 1989, the 14th Dalai Lama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for advancing the plan, as it is also called the "middle way." The Nobel Committee noted the Dalai Lama's continued opposition to the use of violence in the struggle to liberate Tibet from Chinese occupation and his constructive and far-sighted proposals for resolving international conflicts, human rights issues and global environmental problems.
In 2007 he was awarded the highest US award - the Congressional Gold Medal.
Dalai Lama XIV in cinema. The Austrian traveler, climber and writer Heinrich Harrer described the memories of his seven-year communication with the Dalai Lama XIV in the book "Seven Years in Tibet", translated into 53 languages of the world. In 1997, this book was made into a movie of the same name starring Brad Pitt.