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Dalai Lama
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Dalai Lama, Tibet, Tibettan Buddhism,

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Dalai Lama

Dalai Lama


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The spiritual head of Lamaism (Tibetan Buddhism). Considered by some to be a reincarnation of the Buddha of compassion. See also: lama

Dalai is a Mongolian word that means "ocean" thus, the rendering of Dalai Lama is "ocean of wisdom"



His official titles are "Jetsun Jamphel Ngawang Lobsang Yeshe Tenzin Gyatso," meaning "Holy Lord, Gentle Glory, Eloquent, Compassionate, Learned Defender of the Faith, Ocean of Wisdom."

After Pope John Paul II and Billy Graham, he is probably the most recognized religious figure on our planet. He is the voice of Buddhism to the nations and is often called the "god-king" of Tibet. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989. His recent books, Ethics for a New Millennium and The Art of Happiness became best-sellers. He is treated with immense respect by secular media and draws crowds up to 300,000 at his public talks.

These titles and accolades belong to Buddhism's leading apostle, the Dalai Lama. Born as Lhamo Thondup in 1935 in northeast Tibet, he was chosen as the 14th Dalai Lama (Tibet's highest religious figure) at age 2. He was enthroned in 1940 and became political leader of Tibet at age 15, just after Mao's armies began their takeover of Tibet. In exile since 1959, the Dalai Lama has become a world leader in ethics, politics, and religion.

He has also become the de facto leader of millions of spiritual seekers in the West. Christians who want to evangelize our culture do well to understand the extent of his influence, especially in pop culture, as well as the nature of his beliefs. To this end Christianity Today sent me to the Dalai Lama's home-in-exile in Dharamsala, India, to ask him about the popularity of Buddhism, his faith's relation to other faiths, and, most of all, what he thinks about Jesus.
Source: Buddhism's Guruoffsite "The Dalai Lama, a spiritual hero to millions, works to liberate Tibet, calls on spirits, and believes Jesus lived previous lives.", Christianity Today, June 11, 2001
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The current Dalai Lama was born on July 6 1935 in a small village called Taktser in north-east Tibet. He was recognised as the Dalai Lama at the age of two after identifying the previous Dalai Lama's rosary. His parents were poor farmers who grew potatoes.

Originally known as Lhamo Dhondrub, the Dalai Lama was renamed Tenzin Gyatso. He is the 14th Dalai Lama -- a centuries-old Tibetan institution -- and is also a manifestation of the bodhisattva (divine being) as well as Tibet's spiritual leader.

He became the political head of the Tibetan people in 1950 after 80 000 Chinese soldiers invaded Tibet

In 1954 he travelled to Beijing for peace talks with Mao Zedong and other Chinese leaders, including Zhou Enlai and Deng Xiaoping. The talks failed.

In 1959 the Chinese brutally suppressed a popular uprising in Tibet against Chinese rule. The Dalai Lama escaped to India. He has not been back to Tibet since.

Since 1960 he has lived in Dharamsala, a hill station in north India known as Little Lhasa. About 80 000 Tibetans went with him into exile; around 120 000 Tibetans now live there as refugees.

He still leads the life of a Buddhist monk. He lives in a small cottage in Dharamsala, and gets up at 4am to meditate. He spends the rest of his day in meetings, private audiences, religious teachings and ceremonies.

He has met many heads of state, political leaders, and pontiffs. They include the current pope (five times), Nelson Mandela, John Major, Tony Blair, the Queen and the prime minister of Mongolia.

The Dalai Lama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989. He has also received 47 honorary degrees and awards, and numerous other prizes.
Source: Dalai Lama eyes end to 45-year exile, Daily Mail & Guardian (South Africa), Sep. 5, 2003
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Christian Basic Buddhism: What the Dalai Lama and his followers believe about God, Buddha, and other teachings., James A. Beverley, Christianity Today, June 11, 2001
Christian Buddhism's Guruoffsite "The Dalai Lama, a spiritual hero to millions, works to liberate Tibet, calls on spirits, and believes Jesus lived previous lives.", James A. Beverley, Christianity Today, June 11, 2001
Christian Spirituality Without Religionoffsite " More Christians attracted to Dalai Lama's teachings.", Christianity Today, Week of November 22, 1999
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» Religion News Blogoffsite RNB logs current and archived news about religious cults, sects, alternative religions and related issues.
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• News Database
Database of archived news items
(Includes items added between Oct. 25, 1999 and Jan. 31, 2002. See about this database)

Older items:
(May 25, 1999) Guru to the world
(May 17, 1999) Dalai Lama Seeks Peace Via Music
» For newer items, see Religion News Blog
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• See Also
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• Sites
Non-Christian Dalai Lamaoffsite The Dalai Lama's official site.
Non-Christian The Government of Tibet in Exileoffsite (Official Site)
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About this page:
• Subject: Dalai Lama
• First posted: Oct. 21, 2001
• Last Updated: Sep. 12, 2003
• Editor: Anton Hein
• Copyright: Apologetics Index
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