Dalai Lama
Overview
 
The Dalai Lama is a high lama in the Gelug
Gelug
The Gelug or Gelug-pa , also known as the Yellow Hat sect, is a school of Buddhism founded by Je Tsongkhapa , a philosopher and Tibetan religious leader...

 or "Yellow Hat" branch of Tibetan Buddhism
Tibetan Buddhism
Tibetan Buddhism is the body of Buddhist religious doctrine and institutions characteristic of Tibet and certain regions of the Himalayas, including northern Nepal, Bhutan, and India . It is the state religion of Bhutan...

. The name is a combination of the Mongolian
Mongolian language
The Mongolian language is the official language of Mongolia and the best-known member of the Mongolic language family. The number of speakers across all its dialects may be 5.2 million, including the vast majority of the residents of Mongolia and many of the Mongolian residents of the Inner...

 word далай (dalai) meaning "Ocean" and the Tibetan
Tibetan language
The Tibetan languages are a cluster of mutually-unintelligible Tibeto-Burman languages spoken primarily by Tibetan peoples who live across a wide area of eastern Central Asia bordering the Indian subcontinent, including the Tibetan Plateau and the northern Indian subcontinent in Baltistan, Ladakh,...

 word bla-ma (with a silent "b") meaning "teacher". According to the current Dalai Lama, the Tibetan word "lama" corresponds precisely to the better known Sanskrit
Sanskrit
Sanskrit , is a historical Indo-Aryan language and the primary liturgical language of Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism.Buddhism: besides Pali, see Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Today, it is listed as one of the 22 scheduled languages of India and is an official language of the state of Uttarakhand...

 word "guru
Guru
A guru is one who is regarded as having great knowledge, wisdom, and authority in a certain area, and who uses it to guide others . Other forms of manifestation of this principle can include parents, school teachers, non-human objects and even one's own intellectual discipline, if the...

".

In religious terms, the Dalai Lama is believed by his devotees to be the rebirth
Rebirth (Buddhism)
Rebirth in Buddhism is the doctrine that the evolving consciousness or stream of consciousness upon death , becomes one of the contributing causes for the arising of a new aggregation...

 of a long line of tulku
Tulku
In Tibetan Buddhism, a tulku is a particular high-ranking lama, of whom the Dalai Lama is one, who can choose the manner of his rebirth. Normally the lama would be reincarnated as a human, and of the same sex as his predecessor. In contrast to a tulku, all other sentient beings including other...

s who are considered to be manifestations of the bodhisattva
Bodhisattva
In Buddhism, a bodhisattva is either an enlightened existence or an enlightenment-being or, given the variant Sanskrit spelling satva rather than sattva, "heroic-minded one for enlightenment ." The Pali term has sometimes been translated as "wisdom-being," although in modern publications, and...

 of compassion, Avalokiteśvara
Avalokitesvara
Avalokiteśvara is a bodhisattva who embodies the compassion of all Buddhas. He is one of the more widely revered bodhisattvas in mainstream Mahayana Buddhism....

.
Encyclopedia
The Dalai Lama is a high lama in the Gelug
Gelug
The Gelug or Gelug-pa , also known as the Yellow Hat sect, is a school of Buddhism founded by Je Tsongkhapa , a philosopher and Tibetan religious leader...

 or "Yellow Hat" branch of Tibetan Buddhism
Tibetan Buddhism
Tibetan Buddhism is the body of Buddhist religious doctrine and institutions characteristic of Tibet and certain regions of the Himalayas, including northern Nepal, Bhutan, and India . It is the state religion of Bhutan...

. The name is a combination of the Mongolian
Mongolian language
The Mongolian language is the official language of Mongolia and the best-known member of the Mongolic language family. The number of speakers across all its dialects may be 5.2 million, including the vast majority of the residents of Mongolia and many of the Mongolian residents of the Inner...

 word далай (dalai) meaning "Ocean" and the Tibetan
Tibetan language
The Tibetan languages are a cluster of mutually-unintelligible Tibeto-Burman languages spoken primarily by Tibetan peoples who live across a wide area of eastern Central Asia bordering the Indian subcontinent, including the Tibetan Plateau and the northern Indian subcontinent in Baltistan, Ladakh,...

 word bla-ma (with a silent "b") meaning "teacher". According to the current Dalai Lama, the Tibetan word "lama" corresponds precisely to the better known Sanskrit
Sanskrit
Sanskrit , is a historical Indo-Aryan language and the primary liturgical language of Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism.Buddhism: besides Pali, see Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Today, it is listed as one of the 22 scheduled languages of India and is an official language of the state of Uttarakhand...

 word "guru
Guru
A guru is one who is regarded as having great knowledge, wisdom, and authority in a certain area, and who uses it to guide others . Other forms of manifestation of this principle can include parents, school teachers, non-human objects and even one's own intellectual discipline, if the...

".

In religious terms, the Dalai Lama is believed by his devotees to be the rebirth
Rebirth (Buddhism)
Rebirth in Buddhism is the doctrine that the evolving consciousness or stream of consciousness upon death , becomes one of the contributing causes for the arising of a new aggregation...

 of a long line of tulku
Tulku
In Tibetan Buddhism, a tulku is a particular high-ranking lama, of whom the Dalai Lama is one, who can choose the manner of his rebirth. Normally the lama would be reincarnated as a human, and of the same sex as his predecessor. In contrast to a tulku, all other sentient beings including other...

s who are considered to be manifestations of the bodhisattva
Bodhisattva
In Buddhism, a bodhisattva is either an enlightened existence or an enlightenment-being or, given the variant Sanskrit spelling satva rather than sattva, "heroic-minded one for enlightenment ." The Pali term has sometimes been translated as "wisdom-being," although in modern publications, and...

 of compassion, Avalokiteśvara
Avalokitesvara
Avalokiteśvara is a bodhisattva who embodies the compassion of all Buddhas. He is one of the more widely revered bodhisattvas in mainstream Mahayana Buddhism....

. Traditionally, the Dalai Lama is thought of as the latest reincarnation of a series of spiritual leaders who have chosen to be reborn in order to enlighten others. The Dalai Lama is often thought to be the leader of the Gelug
Gelug
The Gelug or Gelug-pa , also known as the Yellow Hat sect, is a school of Buddhism founded by Je Tsongkhapa , a philosopher and Tibetan religious leader...

 School, but this position belongs officially to the Ganden Tripa
Ganden Tripa
The Ganden Tripa or Gaden Tripa is the title of the spiritual leader of the Gelug school of Tibetan Buddhism, the school which controlled central Tibet from the mid-17th century until 1950s. He is identical with the respective abbot of Ganden Monastery...

, 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.

For certain periods of time between the 17th century and 1959, the Dalai Lamas sometimes directed the Tibetan government
Tibetan Government
The Tibetan Government may refer to:Currently:* Government of Tibet Autonomous Region in the People's Republic of China* Central Tibetan Administration, commonly known as the Tibetan government-in-exile, headed by the Dalai LamaHistorically:...

, which administered portions of Tibet from Lhasa
Lhasa
Lhasa is the administrative capital of the Tibet Autonomous Region in the People's Republic of China and the second most populous city on the Tibetan Plateau, after Xining. At an altitude of , Lhasa is one of the highest cities in the world...

. The 14th Dalai Lama
14th Dalai Lama
The 14th Dalai Lama is the 14th and current Dalai Lama. Dalai Lamas are the most influential figures in the Gelugpa lineage of Tibetan Buddhism, although the 14th has consolidated control over the other lineages in recent years...

 remained the head of state for the Central Tibetan Administration
Central Tibetan Administration
The Central Tibetan Administration , is an organisation based in India with the stated goals of "rehabilitating Tibetan refugees and restoring freedom and happiness in Tibet". It was established by the 14th Dalai Lama in 1959 shortly after his exile from Tibet...

 ("Tibetan government in exile") until his retirement on March 14, 2011. He has indicated that the institution of the Dalai Lama may be abolished in the future, and also that the next Dalai Lama may be found outside Tibet and may be female. The Chinese communist government was very quick to reject this and claimed that only they have the authority to select the next Dalai Lama, despite being an officially atheist nation.

The origin of the title of Dalai Lama

In 1578 the Mongol ruler Altan Khan
Altan Khan
Altan Khan , whose given name was Anda , was the ruler of the Tümet Mongols and de facto ruler of the Right Wing, or western tribes, of the Mongols...

 bestowed the title Dalai Lama on Sonam Gyatso. The title was later applied retrospectively to the two predecessors in his reincarnation line, Gendun Drup and Gendun Gyatso. Gendun Gyatso was also Sonam Gyatso's predecessor as abbot of Drepung monastery
Drepung Monastery
Drepung Monastery ,, located at the foot of Mount Gephel, is one of the "great three" Gelukpa university monasteries of Tibet...

. However, the 14th Dalai Lama asserts that Altan Khan did not intend to bestow a title as such and that he intended only to translate the name "Sonam Gyatso" into Mongolian.

. . . many writers have mistranslated Dalai Lama as "Ocean of Wisdom". The full Mongolian title, "the wonderful Vajradhara, good splendid meritorious ocean", given by Altan Khan, is primarily a translation of the Tibetan words Sonam Gyatso (sonam is "merit").


The 14th Dalai Lama commented:

The very name of each Dalai Lama from the Second Dalai Lama onwards had the word Gyatso [in it], which means "ocean" in Tibetan. Even now I am Tenzin Gyatso, so the first name is changing but the second part [the word "ocean"] became like part of each Dalai Lama's name. All of the Dalai Lamas, since the Second, have this name. So I don't really agree that the Mongols actually conferred a title. It was just a translation.


Whatever the intention may have been originally, the Mongolian "Dalai", which does not have any meaning as a Tibetan term, came to be understood commonly as a title.

The name or title Dalai Lama in Mongolian
Mongolian language
The Mongolian language is the official language of Mongolia and the best-known member of the Mongolic language family. The number of speakers across all its dialects may be 5.2 million, including the vast majority of the residents of Mongolia and many of the Mongolian residents of the Inner...

 may also have derived originally from the title taken by Temüjin or Genghis Khan
Genghis Khan
Genghis Khan , born Temujin and occasionally known by his temple name Taizu , was the founder and Great Khan of the Mongol Empire, which became the largest contiguous empire in history after his death....

 when he was proclaimed emperor of a united Mongolia
Mongolia
Mongolia is a landlocked country in East and Central Asia. It is bordered by Russia to the north and China to the south, east and west. Although Mongolia does not share a border with Kazakhstan, its western-most point is only from Kazakhstan's eastern tip. Ulan Bator, the capital and largest...

 during 1206. Temüjin took the name Čingis Qāghan or "oceanic sovereign", the anglicized version of which is Genghis Khan.

Tibetans address the Dalai Lama as Gyalwa Rinpoche ("Precious Victor"), Kundun ("Presence"), Yishin Norbu ("Wish fulfilling Gem") and so on.

Sonam Gyatso was an abbot at the Drepung Monastery
Drepung Monastery
Drepung Monastery ,, located at the foot of Mount Gephel, is one of the "great three" Gelukpa university monasteries of Tibet...

 who was considered widely as one of the most eminent lamas of his time. Although Sonam Gyatso became the first lama to have the title "Dalai Lama" as described above, since he was the third member of his lineage, he became known as the "Third Dalai Lama". The previous two titles were conferred posthumously upon his supposed earlier incarnations.

Yonten Gyatso (1589–1616), the 4th Dalai Lama, and a non-Tibetan, was the grandson of Altan Khan
Altan Khan
Altan Khan , whose given name was Anda , was the ruler of the Tümet Mongols and de facto ruler of the Right Wing, or western tribes, of the Mongols...

.

The tulku
Tulku
In Tibetan Buddhism, a tulku is a particular high-ranking lama, of whom the Dalai Lama is one, who can choose the manner of his rebirth. Normally the lama would be reincarnated as a human, and of the same sex as his predecessor. In contrast to a tulku, all other sentient beings including other...

 tradition of the Dalai Lama has evolved into, and been inaugurated as, an institution
Institution
An institution is any structure or mechanism of social order and cooperation governing the behavior of a set of individuals within a given human community...

:

"The institution of the Dalai Lama has become, over the centuries, a central focus of Tibetan cultural identity; "a symbolic embodiment of the Tibetan national character." Today, the Dalai Lama and the office of the Dalai Lama have become focal points in their struggle towards independence and, more urgently, cultural survival. The Dalai Lama is regarded as the principal incarnation of Chenrezig (referred to as Avalokiteshvara
Avalokitesvara
Avalokiteśvara is a bodhisattva who embodies the compassion of all Buddhas. He is one of the more widely revered bodhisattvas in mainstream Mahayana Buddhism....

 in India), the bodhisattva of compassion and patron deity of Tibet. In that role the Dalai Lama has chosen to use peace and compassion in his treatment of his own people and his oppressors. In this sense the Dalai Lama is the embodiment of an ideal of Tibetan values and a cornerstone of Tibetan identity and culture."


Verhaegen mentions the trans-polity
Polity
Polity is a form of government Aristotle developed in his search for a government that could be most easily incorporated and used by the largest amount of people groups, or states...

 influence that the Institution of the Dalai Lama has had historically in areas such as western China
Western China
Western China , refers to the western part of China. In the definition of the Chinese government, Western China covers six provinces: Gansu, Guizhou, Qinghai, Shaanxi, Sichuan, and Yunnan; one municipality: Chongqing; and three autonomous regions: Ningxia, Tibet, and Xinjiang.-Administrative...

, Mongolia
Mongolia
Mongolia is a landlocked country in East and Central Asia. It is bordered by Russia to the north and China to the south, east and west. Although Mongolia does not share a border with Kazakhstan, its western-most point is only from Kazakhstan's eastern tip. Ulan Bator, the capital and largest...

, Ladakh
Ladakh
Ladakh is a region of Jammu and Kashmir, the northernmost state of the Republic of India. It lies between the Kunlun mountain range in the north and the main Great Himalayas to the south, inhabited by people of Indo-Aryan and Tibetan descent...

 in addition to the other Himalayan Kingdoms:

"The Dalai Lamas have also functioned as the principal spiritual guide to many Himalayan kingdoms bordering Tibet, as well as western China, Mongolia and Ladakh. The literary works of the Dalai Lamas have, over the centuries, inspired more than fifty million people in these regions. Those writings, reflecting the fusion of Buddhist philosophy embodied in Tibetan Buddhism, have become one of the world's great repositories of spiritual thought."


The current Dalai Lama is often called "His Holiness
His Holiness
His Holiness is the official style or manner of address in reference to the leaders of certain religious groups. In Christianity, specifically the Orthodox Church, the Coptic Orthodox Church, Armenian Orthodox Church, Syriac Orthodox Church, Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church and the Roman Catholic...

" (HH) by Westerners (by analogy with the Pope), although this does not translate to a Tibetan title.

Before the 20th century, European sources often referred to the Dalai Lama as the "Grand Lama". For example, in 1785 Benjamin Franklin Bache
Benjamin Franklin Bache (Journalist)
Benjamin Franklin Bache , son of Richard and Sarah Bache and the grandson of Benjamin Franklin, was an American journalist. He headed the openly Jeffersonian publication, the Philadelphia Aurora, which is notable for being some of the impulse behind the Alien and Sedition Acts...

 mocked George Washington
George Washington
George Washington was the dominant military and political leader of the new United States of America from 1775 to 1799. He led the American victory over Great Britain in the American Revolutionary War as commander-in-chief of the Continental Army from 1775 to 1783, and presided over the writing of...

 by terming him the "Grand Lama of this Country". Some in the West believed the Dalai Lama to be worshipped by the Tibetans as the godhead
Godhead
Godhead , may refer to:*Deity*Divinity, the quality of being God*Conceptions of God*Godhead , the totality of gods, in Platonism the Transcendent One....

.

History

During 1252, Kublai Khan
Kublai Khan
Kublai Khan , born Kublai and also known by the temple name Shizu , was the fifth Great Khan of the Mongol Empire from 1260 to 1294 and the founder of the Yuan Dynasty in China...

 granted an audience to Drogön Chögyal Phagpa
Drogön Chögyal Phagpa
Zhogön Qögyä Pagba, Zhogoin Qoigyai Phagspa or Drogön Chögyal Phagpa , born Lochö Gyäcän or Lochoi Gyaicain , was the fifth leader of the Sakya school of Tibetan Buddhism. He became the first vice-king of Tibet and played an important political role...

 and Karma Pakshi
Karma Pakshi
Karma Pakshi was the 2nd Gyalwa Karmapa. He was a child prodigy who had already acquired a broad understanding of Dharma philosophy and meditation by the age of ten. His teacher, Pomdrakpa, had received the full Kagyu transmission from Drogon Rechen, the first Karmapa's spiritual heir...

, the 2nd Karmapa
Karmapa
The Karmapa is the head of the Karma Kagyu, the largest sub-school of the Kagyupa , itself one of the four major schools of Tibetan Buddhism....

. Karma Pakshi, however, sought the patronage of Möngke Khan
Möngke Khan
Möngke Khan , born Möngke, , was the fourth Great Khan of the Mongol Empire from July 1, 1251 – August 11, 1259. He was the first Great Khan from the Toluid line, and made significant reforms to improve the administration of the Empire during his reign...

.
Before his death in 1283, Karma Pakshi wrote a will to protect the established interests of his sect by advising his disciples to locate a boy to inherit the black hat. His instruction was based on the premise that Buddhist ideology is eternal, and that Buddha
Gautama Buddha
Siddhārtha Gautama was a spiritual teacher from the Indian subcontinent, on whose teachings Buddhism was founded. In most Buddhist traditions, he is regarded as the Supreme Buddha Siddhārtha Gautama (Sanskrit: सिद्धार्थ गौतम; Pali: Siddhattha Gotama) was a spiritual teacher from the Indian...

 would send emanations to complete the missions he had initiated. Karma Pakshi's disciples acted in accordance with the will and located the reincarnated boy of their master. The event was the beginning of the teacher reincarnation system for the Black-Hat Line of Tibetan Buddhism
Tibetan Buddhism
Tibetan Buddhism is the body of Buddhist religious doctrine and institutions characteristic of Tibet and certain regions of the Himalayas, including northern Nepal, Bhutan, and India . It is the state religion of Bhutan...

. During the Ming Dynasty
Ming Dynasty
The Ming Dynasty, also Empire of the Great Ming, was the ruling dynasty of China from 1368 to 1644, following the collapse of the Mongol-led Yuan Dynasty. The Ming, "one of the greatest eras of orderly government and social stability in human history", was the last dynasty in China ruled by ethnic...

, Emperor Yongle bestowed the title Great Treasure Prince of Dharma, the first of the three Princes of Dharma, upon the Black-Hat Karmapa
Karmapa
The Karmapa is the head of the Karma Kagyu, the largest sub-school of the Kagyupa , itself one of the four major schools of Tibetan Buddhism....

. Various sects of Tibetan Buddhism responded to the teacher reincarnation system by creating similar lineages.

Unification of Tibet

In the 1630s, Tibet became entangled in power struggles between the rising Manchu and various Mongol and Oirat
Oirats
Oirats are the westernmost group of the Mongols who unified several tribes origin whose ancestral home is in the Altai region of western Mongolia. Although the Oirats originated in the eastern parts of Central Asia, the most prominent group today is located in the Republic of Kalmykia, a federal...

 factions. Ligden Khan of the Chakhar, retreating from the Manchu, set out to Tibet to destroy the Yellow Hat sect
Gelug
The Gelug or Gelug-pa , also known as the Yellow Hat sect, is a school of Buddhism founded by Je Tsongkhapa , a philosopher and Tibetan religious leader...

. He died on the way to Qinghai
Qinghai
Qinghai ; Oirat Mongolian: ; ; Salar:) is a province of the People's Republic of China, named after Qinghai Lake...

 (Koko Nur) in 1634. His vassal Tsogt Taij continued the fight, even having his own son Arslan killed after Arslan changed sides. Tsogt Taij was defeated and killed by Güshi Khan
Güshi Khan
Güshi Khan , a Khoshut prince and leader of the Khoshut Khanate, who had supplanted the Tumed descendants of Altan Khan. His military assistance to the Gelug school enabled the 5th Dalai Lama to establish political control over Tibet...

 of the Khoshud in 1637, who would in turn become the overlord of Tibet, and act as a "Protector of the Yellow Church." Güshi helped the Fifth Dalai Lama
Lozang Gyatso, 5th Dalai Lama
Ngawang Lobsang Gyatso, the Great Fifth Dalai Lama , was a political and religious leader in seventeenth-century Tibet. Ngawang Lozang Gyatso was the ordination name he had received from Panchen Lobsang Chökyi Gyaltsen who was responsible for his ordination...

 to establish himself as the highest spiritual and political authority in Tibet and destroyed any potential rivals. The time of the Fifth Dalai Lama was, however, also a period of rich cultural development.

The Fifth Dalai Lama's death was kept secret for fifteen years by the regent , Sanggye Gyatso. This was apparently done so that the Potala Palace
Potala Palace
The Potala Palace is located in Lhasa, Tibet Autonomous Region, China. It was named after Mount Potala, the abode of Chenresig or Avalokitesvara...

 could be finished, and to prevent Tibet's neighbours taking advantage of an interregnum in the succession of the Dalai Lamas.

Tsangyang Gyatso, the Sixth Dalai Lama
Tsangyang Gyatso, 6th Dalai Lama
Tsangyang Gyatso was the sixth Dalai Lama. He was a Monpa by ethnicity and was born at Urgelling Monastery, 5 km from Tawang, Tibet and not far from the large Tawang Monastery in the northwestern part of present-day Arunachal Pradesh in India .He led a playboy lifestyle and disappeared, near...

, was not enthroned until 1697. Tsangyang Gyatso enjoyed a lifestyle that included drinking, the company of women, and writing love songs. In 1705, Lobzang Khan
Lha-bzang Khan
Lha-bzang Khan was chief of the Khoshut tribe of the Oirat Mongols and the son of Dalai Khan and grandson of Güshi Khan and the last Khoshut-Oirat King of Tibet. He became Khan by poisoning his brother Vangjal . Since Güshi's time, the Khoshuts had lost real power in Lhasa to the Regent there...

 of the Khoshud used the sixth Dalai Lama's escapades as excuse to take control of Tibet. The regent was murdered, and the Dalai Lama sent to Beijing. He died on the way, near Koko Nur, ostensibly from illness. Lobzang Khan appointed a new Dalai Lama who, however was not accepted by the Gelugpa school. Kelzang Gyatso
Kelzang Gyatso, 7th Dalai Lama
Kelzang Gyatso , also spelled Kalzang Gyatso, Kelsang Gyatso and Kezang Gyatso, was the 7th Dalai Lama of Tibet.-Early life:...

 was discovered near Koko Nur and became a rival candidate.

The Dzungars invaded Tibet in 1717, and deposed and killed Lobzang Khan's pretender to the position of Dalai Lama. This was widely approved. However, they soon began to loot the holy places of Lhasa, which brought a swift response from Emperor Kangxi in 1718; but his military expedition was annihilated by the Dzungars, not far from Lhasa.

A second, larger, expedition sent by Emperor Kangxi expelled the Dzungars from Tibet in 1720 and the troops were hailed as liberators. They brought Kelzang Gyatso with them from Kumbum
Kumbum
A Kumbum is a multi-storied aggregate of Buddhist chapels in Tibet. It forms part of Palcho Monastery.The first Kumbum was founded in the fire-sheep year 1427 by a Gyantse prince. It has nine lhakangs or levels, is 35 metres high surmounted by a golden dome, and contains 77 chapels which line...

 to Lhasa and he was installed as the seventh Dalai Lama in 1721.

"After him [Jamphel Gyatso the VIIIth Dalai Lama (1758–1804)], the IXth and Xth Dalai Lamas died before attaining their majority: one of them is credibly stated to have been murdered and strong suspicion attaches to the other. The XIth and XIIth were each enthroned but died soon after being invested with power. For 113 years, therefore, supreme authority in Tibet was in the hands of a Lama Regent, except for about two years when a lay noble held office and for short periods of nominal rule by the XIth and XIIth Dalai Lamas.

It has sometimes been suggested that this state of affairs was brought about by the Ambans—the Imperial Residents in Tibet—because it would be easier to control the Tibet through a Regent than when a Dalai Lama, with his absolute power, was at the head of the government. That is not true. The regular ebb and flow of events followed its set course. The Imperial Residents in Tibet, after the first flush of zeal in 1750, grew less and less interested and efficient. Tibet was, to them, exile from the urbanity and culture of Peking; and so far from dominating the Regents, the Ambans allowed themselves to be dominated. It was the ambition and greed for power of Tibetans that led to five successive Dalai Lamas being subjected to continuous tutelage."


Thubten Jigme Norbu, the elder brother of the present 14th Dalai Lama, describes these unfortunate events as follows:

"It is perhaps more than a coincidence that between the seventh and the thirteenth holders of that office, only one reached his majority. The eighth, Gyampal Gyatso, died when he was in his thirties, Lungtog Gyatso when he was eleven, Tsultrim Gyatso at eighteen, Khadrup Gyatso when he was eighteen also, and Krinla Gyatso at about the same age. The circumstances are such that it is very likely that some, if not all, were poisoned, either by loyal Tibetans for being Chinese-appointed impostors, or by the Chinese for not being properly manageable."


Thubten Gyatso, the 13th Dalai Lama, assumed ruling power from the monasteries, which previously had great influence on the Regent, during 1895. Due to his two periods of exile in 1904–1909, to escape the British invasion of 1904, and from 1910–1912 to escape a Chinese invasion, he became well aware of the complexities of international politics and was the first Dalai Lama to become aware of the importance of foreign relations. After his return from exile in India and Sikkim
Sikkim
Sikkim is a landlocked Indian state nestled in the Himalayan mountains...

 during January 1913, he assumed control of foreign relations and dealt directly with the Maharaja
Maharaja
Mahārāja is a Sanskrit title for a "great king" or "high king". The female equivalent title Maharani denotes either the wife of a Maharaja or, in states where that was customary, a woman ruling in her own right. The widow of a Maharaja is known as a Rajamata...

 and the British Political officer in Sikkim and the king of Nepal
Nepal
Nepal , officially the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal, is a landlocked sovereign state located in South Asia. It is located in the Himalayas and bordered to the north by the People's Republic of China, and to the south, east, and west by the Republic of India...

 rather than letting the Kashag
Kashag
The Kashag was the governing council of Tibet during Qing Dynasty and Republic of China. It was set by Qianlong Emperor in 1751. In that year the Tibetan government was reorganized after the riots in Lhasa of the previous year...

 or parliament do it.

Thubten Gyatso issued a Declaration of Independence for his kingdom in Central Tibet from China during the summer of 1912 and standardised a Tibetan flag, though no other sovereign state recognized the independence. He expelled the Amban
Amban
Amban is a Manchu word meaning "high official," which corresponds to a number of different official titles in the Qing imperial government...

s and all Chinese civilians in the country, and instituted many measures to modernise Tibet. These included provisions to curb excessive demands on peasants for provisions by the monasteries and tax evasion by the nobles, setting up an independent police force, the abolishment of the death penalty, extension of secular education, and the provision of electricity throughout the city of Lhasa in the 1920s. Thubten Gyatso died in 1933.

The 14th Dalai Lama
14th Dalai Lama
The 14th Dalai Lama is the 14th and current Dalai Lama. Dalai Lamas are the most influential figures in the Gelugpa lineage of Tibetan Buddhism, although the 14th has consolidated control over the other lineages in recent years...

 was not formally enthroned until 17 November 1950, during the People's Republic of China invasion of the kingdom. In 1951, he and the Tibetan government formally accepted the Seventeen Point Agreement by which Tibet was formally incorporated into the People's Republic of China. Fearing for his life in the wake of a revolt in Tibet in 1959, the 14th Dalai Lama fled to India where he has led a government in exile
Government in exile
A government in exile is a political group that claims to be a country's legitimate government, but for various reasons is unable to exercise its legal power, and instead resides in a foreign country. Governments in exile usually operate under the assumption that they will one day return to their...

 since.. In 2001, he ceded his absolute power over the government to an elected parliament of selected Tibetan exiles. His original goal was full independence for Tibet, but by the late 1980s, he was seeking high-level autonomy instead. He is still seeking greater autonomy from China, although he has threatened to go back to advocating independence if this strategy does not work.

Residence

Starting with the 5th Dalai Lama and until the 14th Dalai Lama's flight into exile during 1959, the Dalai Lamas spent the winter at the Potala Palace
Potala Palace
The Potala Palace is located in Lhasa, Tibet Autonomous Region, China. It was named after Mount Potala, the abode of Chenresig or Avalokitesvara...

 and the summer at the Norbulingka
Norbulingka
Norbulingka is a palace and surrounding park in Lhasa, Tibet, built from 1755. It served as the traditional summer residence of the successive Dalai Lamas from the 1780s up until the 14th Dalai Lama's exile in 1959...

 palace and park. Both are in Lhasa
Lhasa
Lhasa is the administrative capital of the Tibet Autonomous Region in the People's Republic of China and the second most populous city on the Tibetan Plateau, after Xining. At an altitude of , Lhasa is one of the highest cities in the world...

 and approximately 3 km apart.

Following the failed 1959 Tibetan uprising
1959 Tibetan uprising
The 1959 Tibetan uprising, or 1959 Tibetan Rebellion began on 10 March 1959, when a revolt erupted in Lhasa, the capital of Tibet, which had been under the effective control of the Communist Party of China since the Seventeen Point Agreement in 1951...

, the 14th Dalai Lama sought refuge in India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

. The then Indian Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru
Jawaharlal Nehru
Jawaharlal Nehru , often referred to with the epithet of Panditji, was an Indian statesman who became the first Prime Minister of independent India and became noted for his “neutralist” policies in foreign affairs. He was also one of the principal leaders of India’s independence movement in the...

, allowed in the Dalai Lama and his coterie of Tibetan government officials. The Dalai Lama has since lived in exile in Dharamsala
Dharamsala
Dharamshala or Dharamsala is a city in northern India. It was formerly known as Bhagsu; it is the winter seat of government of the state of Himachal Pradesh and the district headquarters of the Kangra district....

, in the state of Himachal Pradesh
Himachal Pradesh
Himachal Pradesh is a state in Northern India. It is spread over , and is bordered by the Indian states of Jammu and Kashmir on the north, Punjab on the west and south-west, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh on the south, Uttarakhand on the south-east and by the Tibet Autonomous Region on the east...

 in northern India, where the Central Tibetan Administration
Central Tibetan Administration
The Central Tibetan Administration , is an organisation based in India with the stated goals of "rehabilitating Tibetan refugees and restoring freedom and happiness in Tibet". It was established by the 14th Dalai Lama in 1959 shortly after his exile from Tibet...

 is also established. Tibetan refugees have constructed and opened many schools and Buddhist temples in Dharamsala.

Searching for the reincarnation

By the Himalayan tradition, phowa
Phowa
Phowa is a Vajrayāna Buddhist meditation practice...

 (Tibetan) is the discipline that transfers the mindstream to the intended body. Upon the death of the Dalai Lama and consultation with the Nechung Oracle
Nechung Oracle
The Nechung Oracle is the State Oracle of Tibet. The medium of the State Oracle currently resides with the current Dalai Lama in Dharamsala, India...

, a search for the Lama's reincarnation
Reincarnation
Reincarnation best describes the concept where the soul or spirit, after the death of the body, is believed to return to live in a new human body, or, in some traditions, either as a human being, animal or plant...

, or yangsi (yang srid), is conducted. Traditionally it has been the responsibility of the High Lamas of the Gelugpa Tradition and the Tibetan government to find his reincarnation. The process can take around two or three years to identify the Dalai Lama, and for the 14th, Tenzin Gyatso
14th Dalai Lama
The 14th Dalai Lama is the 14th and current Dalai Lama. Dalai Lamas are the most influential figures in the Gelugpa lineage of Tibetan Buddhism, although the 14th has consolidated control over the other lineages in recent years...

 it was four years before he was found. The search for the Dalai Lama has usually been limited historically to Tibet, although the third tulku was born in Mongolia
Mongolia
Mongolia is a landlocked country in East and Central Asia. It is bordered by Russia to the north and China to the south, east and west. Although Mongolia does not share a border with Kazakhstan, its western-most point is only from Kazakhstan's eastern tip. Ulan Bator, the capital and largest...

. Tenzin Gyatso, though, has stated that he will not be reborn in the People's Republic of China. In his autobiography, Freedom In Exile
Freedom in Exile
Freedom in Exile: The Autobiography of the Dalai Lama is the second autobiography of the 14th Dalai Lama, released in 1991. The Dalai Lama's first autobiography, My Land and My People, was published in 1962, a few years after he reestablished himself in India and before he became an international...

, he states that if Tibet is not free, he will reincarnate elsewhere."

The High Lamas used several ways in which they can increase the chances of finding the reincarnation. High Lamas often visit the holy lake, called Lhamo La-tso
Lhamo La-tso
Lhamo La-tso or Lhamo Latso , the small oval 'Oracle Lake', is where senior Tibetan monks go for visions to assist in the discovery of reincarnations of the Dalai Lamas. Other pilgrims also come to seek visions...

, in central Tibet and watch for a sign from the lake itself. This may be either a vision or some indication of the direction in which to search and this was how Tenzin Gyatso was found.
It is said that Palden Lhamo
Palden Lhamo
Palden Lhamo , Palden Lamo , Shri Devi , or Ukin Tengri is a protecting Dharmapala of the teachings of Gautama Buddha in the Gelug school of Tibetan Buddhism. She is also called Remati...

, the female guardian spirit of the sacred lake, Lhamo La-tso
Lhamo La-tso
Lhamo La-tso or Lhamo Latso , the small oval 'Oracle Lake', is where senior Tibetan monks go for visions to assist in the discovery of reincarnations of the Dalai Lamas. Other pilgrims also come to seek visions...

, promised Gendun Drup, the 1st Dalai Lama in one of his visions "that she would protect the reincarnation lineage of the Dalai Lamas." Ever since the time of Gendun Gyatso, the 2nd Dalai Lama, who formalised the system, the Regents and other monks have gone to the lake to seek guidance on choosing the next reincarnation through visions while meditating there.

The particular form of Palden Lhamo at Lhamo La-tso is Gyelmo Maksorma, "The Victorious One who Turns Back Enemies". The lake is sometimes referred to as "Pelden Lhamo Kalideva", which indicates that Palden Lhamo is an emanation of the goddess Kali
Kali
' , also known as ' , is the Hindu goddess associated with power, shakti. The name Kali comes from kāla, which means black, time, death, lord of death, Shiva. Kali means "the black one". Since Shiva is called Kāla - the eternal time, Kālī, his consort, also means "Time" or "Death" . Hence, Kāli is...

, the shakti
Shakti
Shakti from Sanskrit shak - "to be able," meaning sacred force or empowerment, is the primordial cosmic energy and represents the dynamic forces that are thought to move through the entire universe in Hinduism. Shakti is the concept, or personification, of divine feminine creative power, sometimes...

 of the Hindu
Hindu
Hindu refers to an identity associated with the philosophical, religious and cultural systems that are indigenous to the Indian subcontinent. As used in the Constitution of India, the word "Hindu" is also attributed to all persons professing any Indian religion...

 God Śhiva
Shiva
Shiva is a major Hindu deity, and is the destroyer god or transformer among the Trimurti, the Hindu Trinity of the primary aspects of the divine. God Shiva is a yogi who has notice of everything that happens in the world and is the main aspect of life. Yet one with great power lives a life of a...

.
It was here that during 1935, the Regent, Reting Rinpoche
Reting Rinpoche
Reting Rinpoche is the title held by abbots of Reting Monastery, a Buddhist monastery in central Tibet. The identity of the present Reting Rinpoche is contested.-History of the lineage:...

, received a clear vision of three Tibetan letters and of a monastery with a jade-green and gold roof, and a house with turquoise roof tiles, which led to the discovery of Tenzin Gyatso
14th Dalai Lama
The 14th Dalai Lama is the 14th and current Dalai Lama. Dalai Lamas are the most influential figures in the Gelugpa lineage of Tibetan Buddhism, although the 14th has consolidated control over the other lineages in recent years...

, the 14th Dalai Lama
14th Dalai Lama
The 14th Dalai Lama is the 14th and current Dalai Lama. Dalai Lamas are the most influential figures in the Gelugpa lineage of Tibetan Buddhism, although the 14th has consolidated control over the other lineages in recent years...

.

High Lamas may also have a vision by a dream or if the Dalai Lama was cremated, they will often monitor the direction of the smoke as an indication of the direction of the rebirth.

Once the High Lamas have found the home and the boy they believe to be the reincarnation, the boy undergoes a series of tests to affirm the rebirth. They present a number of artefacts, only some of which belonged to the previous Dalai Lama, and if the boy chooses the items which belonged to the previous Dalai Lama, this is seen as a sign, in conjunction with all of the other indications, that the boy is the reincarnation.

If there is only one boy found, the High Lamas will invite Living Buddhas of the three great monasteries together with secular clergy and monk officials, to confirm their findings and will then report to the Central Government through the Minister of Tibet. Later a group consisting of the three major servants of Dalai Lama, eminent officials and troops will collect the boy and his family and travel to Lhasa
Lhasa
Lhasa is the administrative capital of the Tibet Autonomous Region in the People's Republic of China and the second most populous city on the Tibetan Plateau, after Xining. At an altitude of , Lhasa is one of the highest cities in the world...

, where the boy would be taken, usually to Drepung Monastery
Drepung Monastery
Drepung Monastery ,, located at the foot of Mount Gephel, is one of the "great three" Gelukpa university monasteries of Tibet...

 to study the Buddhist sutra in preparation for assuming the role of spiritual leader of Tibet.

However, if there are several possibilities of the reincarnation, in the past regents and eminent officials and monks at the Jokhang
Jokhang
The Jokhang, , also called the Qokang Monastery, Jokang, Jokhang Temple, Jokhang Monastery or Zuglagkang , is located on Barkhor Square in Lhasa. For most Tibetans it is the most sacred and important temple in Tibet. It is in some regards pan-sectarian, but is presently controlled by the Gelug school...

 in Lhasa
Lhasa
Lhasa is the administrative capital of the Tibet Autonomous Region in the People's Republic of China and the second most populous city on the Tibetan Plateau, after Xining. At an altitude of , Lhasa is one of the highest cities in the world...

, and the Minister to Tibet would decide on the individual by putting the boys' names inside an urn and drawing one lot in public if it was too difficult to judge the reincarnation initially.

List of Dalai Lamas

There have been 14 recognised reincarnations of the Dalai Lama:
Name Picture Lifespan Recognised Enthronement Tibetan
Tibetan language
The Tibetan languages are a cluster of mutually-unintelligible Tibeto-Burman languages spoken primarily by Tibetan peoples who live across a wide area of eastern Central Asia bordering the Indian subcontinent, including the Tibetan Plateau and the northern Indian subcontinent in Baltistan, Ladakh,...

/Wylie
Wylie transliteration
The Wylie transliteration scheme is a method for transliterating Tibetan script using only the letters available on a typical English language typewriter. It bears the name of Turrell V. Wylie, who described the scheme in an article, A Standard System of Tibetan Transcription, published in 1959...

 
Tibetan pinyin
Tibetan Pinyin
The SASM/GNC/SRC romanization of Tibetan, commonly known as Tibetan pinyin, is the official transcription system for the Tibetan language in the People's Republic of China for personal name and place names. It is based on the Lhasa dialect of Standard Tibetan and reflects the pronunciation very...

/Chinese
Chinese language
The Chinese language is a language or language family consisting of varieties which are mutually intelligible to varying degrees. Originally the indigenous languages spoken by the Han Chinese in China, it forms one of the branches of Sino-Tibetan family of languages...

 
Alternative spellings
1 Gendun Drup  1391–1474 N/A
dge 'dun 'grub
Gêdün Chub
根敦朱巴
Gedun Drub
Gedün Drup
Gendun Drup
2 Gendun Gyatso  1475–1542 N/A
dge 'dun rgya mtsho
Gêdün Gyaco
根敦嘉措
Gedün Gyatso
Gendün Gyatso
3 Sonam Gyatso  1543–1588 ? 1578
bsod nams rgya mtsho
Soinam Gyaco
索南嘉措
Sönam Gyatso
4 Yonten Gyatso  1589–1617 ? 1603
yon tan rgya mtsho
Yoindain Gyaco
雲丹嘉措
Yontan Gyatso, Yönden Gyatso
5 Ngawang Lobsang Gyatso  1617–1682 1618 1622
blo bzang rgya mtsho
Lobsang Gyaco
羅桑嘉措
Lobzang Gyatso
Lopsang Gyatso
6 Tsangyang Gyatso  1683–1706 1688 1697
tshang dbyangs rgya mtsho
Cangyang Gyaco
倉央嘉措
Tsañyang Gyatso
7 Kelzang Gyatso  1708–1757 ? 1720
bskal bzang rgya mtsho
Gaisang Gyaco
格桑嘉措
Kelsang Gyatso
Kalsang Gyatso
8 Jamphel Gyatso  1758–1804 1760 1762
byams spel rgya mtsho
Qambê Gyaco
強白嘉措
Jampel Gyatso
Jampal Gyatso
9 Lungtok Gyatso  1805–1815 1807 1808
lung rtogs rgya mtsho
Lungdog Gyaco
隆朵嘉措
Lungtog Gyatso
10 Tsultrim Gyatso  1816–1837 1822 1822
tshul khrim rgya mtsho
Cüchim Gyaco
楚臣嘉措
Tshültrim Gyatso
11 Khendrup Gyatso  1838–1856 1841 1842
mkhas grub rgya mtsho
Kaichub Gyaco
凱珠嘉措
Kedrub Gyatso
12 Trinley Gyatso  1857–1875 1858 1860
phrin las rgya mtsho
Chinlai Gyaco
成烈嘉措
Trinle Gyatso
13 Thubten Gyatso  1876–1933 1878 1879
thub bstan rgya mtsho
Tubdain Gyaco
土登嘉措
Thubtan Gyatso
Thupten Gyatso
14 Tenzin Gyatso
14th Dalai Lama
The 14th Dalai Lama is the 14th and current Dalai Lama. Dalai Lamas are the most influential figures in the Gelugpa lineage of Tibetan Buddhism, although the 14th has consolidated control over the other lineages in recent years...

 
born 1935 1937 1950
(currently in exile)

bstan 'dzin rgya mtsho
Dainzin Gyaco
丹增嘉措
Tenzing Gyatso


There has also been one nonrecognised Dalai Lama, Ngawang Yeshey Gyatso, declared 28 June 1707, when he was 25 years old, by Lha-bzang Khan
Lha-bzang Khan
Lha-bzang Khan was chief of the Khoshut tribe of the Oirat Mongols and the son of Dalai Khan and grandson of Güshi Khan and the last Khoshut-Oirat King of Tibet. He became Khan by poisoning his brother Vangjal . Since Güshi's time, the Khoshuts had lost real power in Lhasa to the Regent there...

 as the "true" 6th Dalai Lama – however, he was never accepted as such by the majority of the population.

Future of the position

"In the mid-1970s Tenzin Gyatso, The Fourteenth Dalai Lama, told a Polish newspaper that he thought he would be the last Dalai Lama. In a later interview published in the English language press he stated "The Dalai Lama office was an institution created to benefit others. It is possible that it will soon have outlived its usefulness." These statements caused a furor amongst Tibetans in India. Many could not believe that such an option could even be considered. It was further felt that it was not the Dalai Lama's decision to reincarnate. Rather, they felt that since the Dalai Lama is a national institution it was up to the people of Tibet to decide whether or not (sic) the Dalai Lama should reincarnate."


The government of the People's Republic of China
People's Republic of China
China , officially the People's Republic of China , is the most populous country in the world, with over 1.3 billion citizens. Located in East Asia, the country covers approximately 9.6 million square kilometres...

 (PRC) has claimed the power to approve the naming of "high" reincarnations in Tibet, based on a precedent set by the Qianlong Emperor
Qianlong Emperor
The Qianlong Emperor was the sixth emperor of the Manchu-led Qing Dynasty, and the fourth Qing emperor to rule over China proper. The fourth son of the Yongzheng Emperor, he reigned officially from 11 October 1735 to 8 February 1796...

 of the Qing Dynasty
Qing Dynasty
The Qing Dynasty was the last dynasty of China, ruling from 1644 to 1912 with a brief, abortive restoration in 1917. It was preceded by the Ming Dynasty and followed by the Republic of China....

. The Qianlong Emperor instituted a system of selecting the Dalai Lama and the Panchen Lama
Panchen Lama
The Panchen Lama , or Bainqên Erdê'ni , is the highest ranking Lama after the Dalai Lama in the Gelugpa lineage of Tibetan Buddhism...

 by a lottery that used a golden urn with names wrapped in clumps of barley. This method was used a few times for both positions during the 19th century, but eventually fell into disuse. In 1995, the Dalai Lama chose to proceed with the selection of the 11th reincarnation of the Panchen Lama
11th Panchen Lama
The 11th Panchen Lama controversy is a dispute about the current legitimate holder of the Panchen Lama title, a political and religious leadership position in Tibet and Tibetan Buddhism. After the death of the 10th Panchen Lama, a dispute between the Chinese leadership and the exiled 14th Dalai...

 without the use of the Golden Urn, while the Chinese government insisted that it must be used. This has led to two rival Panchen Lamas: Gyaincain Norbu as chosen by the Chinese government's process, and Gedhun Choekyi Nyima
Gedhun Choekyi Nyima
Gedhun Choekyi Nyima is, according to the 14th Dalai Lama, the eleventh Panchen Lama of Tibetan Buddhism. He was born in Lhari County, Tibet. On May 14, 1995, Gedhun Choekyi Nyima was named the 11th Panchen Lama by the 14th Dalai Lama...

 as chosen by the Dalai Lama.

During September 2007 the Chinese government said all high monks must be approved by the government
State Religious Affairs Bureau Order No. 5
State Religious Affairs Bureau Order No. 5 is an order from the State Administration for Religious Affairs, the People's Republic of China's agency charged with keeping religion under state control. Order No...

, which would include the selection of the 15th Dalai Lama
15th Dalai Lama
The 15th Dalai Lama refers to the possible successor of the 14th Dalai Lama in a lineage of Dalai Lamas. China plans to control the 15th Dalai Lama. In a 2004 interview with Time, the current Dalai Lama stated:-See also:* Central Tibetan Administration...

 after the death of Tenzin Gyatso
14th Dalai Lama
The 14th Dalai Lama is the 14th and current Dalai Lama. Dalai Lamas are the most influential figures in the Gelugpa lineage of Tibetan Buddhism, although the 14th has consolidated control over the other lineages in recent years...

. Since by tradition, the Panchen Lama must approve the reincarnation of the Dalai Lama, that is another possible method of control.

In response to this scenario, Tashi Wangdi
Tashi Wangdi
Tashi Wangdi is the Representative to the Americas for the Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso. He has held that position since April 16, 2005. Since 1966 he has served the Central Tibetan Administration, Tibet's government-in-exile...

, the representative of the 14th Dalai Lama
14th Dalai Lama
The 14th Dalai Lama is the 14th and current Dalai Lama. Dalai Lamas are the most influential figures in the Gelugpa lineage of Tibetan Buddhism, although the 14th has consolidated control over the other lineages in recent years...

, replied that the Chinese government's selection would be meaningless. "You can't impose an Imam
Imam (Sunni Islam)
In Sunni Islam, an imam khatib is a leader, often the worship leader of a mosque and the Muslim community. This compound title is merely a common combination of two elementary offices: leader of the congregational prayer, which in larger mosques is performed at the times of all daily prayers; and...

, an Archbishop
Archbishop
An archbishop is a bishop of higher rank, but not of higher sacramental order above that of the three orders of deacon, priest , and bishop...

, saints, any religion...you can't politically impose these things on people," said Wangdi. "It has to be a decision of the followers of that tradition. The Chinese can use their political power: force. Again, it's meaningless. Like their Panchen Lama. And they can't keep their Panchen Lama in Tibet. They tried to bring him to his monastery
Tashilhunpo
Tashilhunpo Monastery , founded in 1447 by Gendun Drup, the First Dalai Lama, is a historic and culturally important monastery next to Shigatse, the second-largest city in Tibet....

 many times but people would not see him. How can you have a religious leader like that?"

The Dalai Lama said as early as 1969 that it was for the Tibetans to decide whether the institution of the Dalai Lama "should continue or not". He has given reference to a possible vote occurring in the future for all Tibetan Buddhists to decide whether they wish to recognize his rebirth. In response to the possibility that the PRC may attempt to choose his successor, the Dalai Lama has said he will not be reborn in a country controlled by the People's Republic of China or any other country which is not free. According to Robert D. Kaplan
Robert D. Kaplan
Robert David Kaplan is an American journalist, currently a National Correspondent for the Atlantic Monthly...

, this could mean that "the next Dalai Lama might come from the Tibetan cultural belt that stretches across northern India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

, Nepal
Nepal
Nepal , officially the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal, is a landlocked sovereign state located in South Asia. It is located in the Himalayas and bordered to the north by the People's Republic of China, and to the south, east, and west by the Republic of India...

, and Bhutan
Bhutan
Bhutan , officially the Kingdom of Bhutan, is a landlocked state in South Asia, located at the eastern end of the Himalayas and bordered to the south, east and west by the Republic of India and to the north by the People's Republic of China...

, presumably making him even more pro-Indian and anti-Chinese".

Dalai Lama and Mo Divination

The Dalai Lama practices a form of Astragalomancy
Astragalomancy
Astragalomancy, also known as astragyromancy, is a form of divination that uses dice specially marked with letters and numbers.Originally, as with dice games, the "dice" were quadruped knucklebones or other small bones. Marked astragali of sheep and goats are common at Mediterranean and Near...

called Mo. The Dalai Lama is reported as using the mo, balls of dough in which have been placed pieces of paper with possible "choices" written on them, to help in making important decisions.

Further reading

  • Goodman, Michael H. (1986). The Last Dalai Lama. Shambhala Publications. Boston, MA.
  • Mullin, Glenn H. (2001). The Fourteen Dalai Lamas: A Sacred Legacy of Reincarnation. Clear Light Publishers. Santa Fe, NM. ISBN 1-57416-092-3.
  • Dalai Lama. (1991) Freedom in Exile: The Autobiography of the Dalai Lama. San Fransisco, CA.

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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