The Dalai Lama was born Tenzin Gyatso to a peasant family in Tibet in 1935. According to Tibetan tradition, he was recognized at two years old as the reincarnation of the 13th Dalai Lama. These spiritual leaders are the human manifestation of the Bodhisattva of Compassion, who chooses to reincarnate to serve the people. Dalai Lama translates in English to Ocean of Wisdom.
While studying Buddhist philosophy at the age of 16, he was called upon to assume the powers of head of state following aggression from China in 1950. In 1959 he was forced into exile in Dharamsala, India, now the capital of the Tibetan Government in Exile.
The Dalai Lama works constantly to bring freedom back to the people of Tibet. He meets with many Western leaders to raise awareness of his cause. He won the Nobel Peace Prize 1989 for his nonviolent resistance to the Chinese occupation of Tibet.
"The need for simple human-to-human relationships is becoming increasingly urgent," the Dalai Lama has said. "Today the world is smaller and more interdependent. One nation's problems can no longer be solved by itself completely. Thus, without a sense of universal responsibility, our very survival becomes threatened. Basically, universal responsibility is feeling for other people's suffering just as we feel our own."
The Nobel Peace Prize
The Nobel committee praised the Dalai Lama for advocating "peaceful solutions based upon tolerance and mutual respect in order to preserve the historical and cultural heritage of his people."
This site explains the teachings of the Dalai Lama and provides the texts of his important speeches.
Photographer Phil Borges visited Tibet and chronicled the lives of its people with this site.
The Dalai Lama in Time
Time named the Dalai Lama one of the most influential people in the world in 2008. Read this article to find out why.
The Dalai Lama Foundation
Established in 2002, with the Dalai Lama's endorsement and advice, this non-profit, charitable organization is focused on promoting ethics and peace.
The New York Times and CNN
Ever-expanding centers archiving news and facts about the Dalai Lama as they unfold.