Why Is the Dalai Lama Living in Exile?

Only available on StudyMode
  • Topic: Tibet, Dalai Lama, 14th Dalai Lama
  • Pages : 5 (1952 words )
  • Download(s) : 149
  • Published : July 28, 2010
Open Document
Text Preview
The Dalai Lama is Tibet’s leading political and spiritual leader, who was forced to leave his homeland in 1959 due to the unrest caused by the Chinese invasion of Tibet in 1949. The Dalai Lama is very important to Tibetan society, he is revered as the supreme leader of Tibet, as he is believed to embody the ideals of Buddhism that govern Tibetan society. The Chinese occupation of Tibet and their aggressive and hostile actions have made it a dangerous place for the Dalai Lama. The Chinese invasion has had a dramatic impact on Tibet’s society, it has lead to the death of over one million Tibetans and the destruction of land and sacred sites. The Dalai Lama has been honoured as the supreme leader of the Tibetan people both spiritually and as the head of their government for centuries, he is the most significant person in Tibetan Culture. Buddhist Tibetans customarily believe that he is the reincarnation of his predecessors, a long line of spiritual leaders who have been re-born to help enlighten others. When the Dalai Lama dies High Buddhist priests begin looking for clues and omens that will lead them to the next Dalai Lama. After the death of the 13th Dalai Lama Thubten Gyatso in 1933 the Priests set out to find his successor, their search lead them to the house of Tenzin Gyatso,(born Lhamo Thondup) who came from a poor farming family, he was born on the 6th of July 1935 in a Taktser, a small village in North-eastern Tibet. After he successfully completed a number of tests set out by the priests He was formally recognised as the 14th Dalai Lama at the age of four. He began his schooling at the age of six and was taught by the Buddhist monks. His education consisted of “metaphysics, arts and crafts, medicine, dialects and Sanskrit, the language of Buddhism.” Through his youth, the Dalai Lama was taught how to successfully lead Tibet. Tibet was an independent and peaceful country governed by the Dalai Lama until the invasion by the People's Liberation Army of China in 1949, which caused him to flee the country because it was unsafe for him to live there. Up until the 1950’s much of Tibet’s culture and traditions were secret. Tibet intentionally distanced itself from the rest of the world as they wanted to shield themselves from desires and materialistic attitudes of western society, the Dalai Lama states that in the long run it has not helped them. Tibet’s isolation has been one of the factors for the Chinese invasion, their independence from China has never been officially acknowledged by the rest of the world. “Tibetans claim that Tibet is a separate nation with a distinct culture, yet the Chinese claim that it is a minority member of the Chinese nation with a local variation of a common culture”. Over the centuries the borders between the two countries have been somewhat changeable, both countries have at one time or another crossed over each other’s borders. In 1949 under Mao Tse-tung, China launched an invasion of Tibet. Buddhism is the primary religion in Tibet, it is a pacifist religion, and all living things are considered equal in value. They don’t believe in killing any life form or using aggression, although in life threatening situations there are exceptions. After the People's Liberation Army defeated the Tibetan army in a battle at Chamdo in October, 1950 the Chinese Army took over the country they began to move troops over the borders into Tibet. Even if Tibetans wanted to use violence to reclaim their country they would not have the weaponry or the training to do so. The Chinese outnumbered Tibet in population and resources. At the time of the invasion the Tibetan army had only 8,500 men, while the Chinese People’s Liberation Army had 80,000 men. To the Chinese Tibetans were poisoned by their religion and as they infiltrated Tibet they did their best to diminish the people’s access to the Dalai Lama. The Chinese put a ban on any ceremonies that related to the Dalai Lama. Chinese troops moved into Lhasa,...
tracking img