‘World peace must develop from inner peace. Peace is not just mere absence of violence. Peace is, I think, the manifestation of human compassion.’ Quoted by a man of peace, a man of many names, the Ocean of Wisdom, the Compassionate, the Presence, but mainly known as the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso was recognised as the reincarnation of his predecessor, the 13th Dalai Lama. The Dalai Lamas are believed to be the Bodhisattva Avalokite vara, a heavenly being that embodies the compassion of all Buddhas who have delayed their own nirvana and chosen to take rebirth in order to serve humanity.
Born on July 6, 1935, into a peasant family in Northern Tibet, Lhamo Dhondrub as he was originally named was not recognised as the incarnation of the previous Dalai Lama until he was two. He changed his name to Tenzin Gyatso in 1940, the year he became a novice monk and the official spiritual leader of Tibet. His formal education began a year later at the age of six and by the age of twenty-five, 1959, he completed his final studies in Buddhist philosophy. However, before he finished his education, on November 17, 1950, he was summoned to assume full leadership of Tibet at the age of only fifteen. This is because China had invaded the nation a month earlier. A failed Tibetan uprising in 1959 put the whole region on edge and forced the Dalai Lama to flee in exile as Chinese authorities were planning to assassinate him. Since 1960, he has lived in Dharamsala, India.
Throughout his life, the Dalai Lama has made three main commitments and I quote ‘will carry on with the first two commitments till my last breath’. His first commitment is based on the level of a human being and thus is the promotion of human values like compassion, forgiveness, tolerance etc. He believes that all humans are the same and that we all want happiness and no suffering. This brings us to the Dalai Lama’s second commitment. As a religious practitioner, he has the responsibility of... [continues]
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