Teachings » Our Spritual Teachers » Dalai Lama XIV

Dalai Lama XIV

The Dalai Lama is a high lama in the Gelug or "Yellow Hat" branch of Tibetan Buddhism. The Dalai Lamas are believed to be manifestations of Avalokiteshvara, the Bodhisattva of Compassion and patron saint of Tibet.

The Dalai Lama XIV (14th), Tenzin Gyatso, is the spiritual leader of Tibet. He was born in 1935 to a farming family leaving in a small hamlet located in Taktser, northeastern Tibet. At the age of two the child, who was named Lhamo Dhondup at that time was recognized as the reincarnation of the Dalai Lama XIII (13th), Thubten Gyatso (1876 - 1933). The Dalai Lama XIII predicted before he died at the age of 57 in Lhasa:

"Very soon in this land (with a harmonious blend of religion and politics) deceptive acts may occur from without and within. At that time, if we do not dare to protect our territory, our spiritual personalities, the property and monks may be taken away. The property of all people, high and low, will be seized and the people forced to become slaves. All living beings will have to endure endless days of suffering and will be stricken with fear. Such a time will come."

At the outset of the 1959 Tibetan uprising followed by fierce Chinese crackdown. The new spiritual leader of Tibet, the Dalai Lama XIV (14th), and an entourage of 20 men which included six Cabinet ministers crossed the border into India after an epic 15-day journey on foot from the Tibetan capital, Lhasa, over the Himalayan mountains.  They had to endured the harsh climate and extreme heights of the Himalayas, travelling at night to avoid the Chinese sentry guards. The Dalai Lama XIV was offered asylum in India and settled in Dharamsala, in northern India.

He was followed into exile by about 80,000 Tibetans, most of whom settled in the same area, which has become known as "Little Lhasa" and is home to the Tibetan government-in-exile.

Updated On: 18.09.01