The 14th Dalai Lama is an inspiration to millions around the world for his simplicity and humble demeanour. He has dedicated his life to creating awareness about the plight of Tibet under Chinese rule.
His Holiness Dalai Lama turns 87 today. Born as Tenzin Gyatso on 6 July 1935, the Buddhist spiritual leader came to India in 1959 after the Tibetan Uprising of 1959 and China’s brutal suppression of the revolt.
The 14th Dalai Lama is an inspiration to millions around the world for his simplicity and humble demeanour. He has dedicated his life to creating awareness about the plight of Tibet under Chinese rule. The Dalai Lama has also lectured around the globe on the tenets of Buddhism.
On his 87th birthday, here are some lesser-known facts about the spiritual leader:
- The Dalai Lama was found by Tibetan monks when he was only two. He passed all the tests put forth by the monks and was proclaimed to be the next spiritual leader of his community.
- He and his family were held by a Chinese warlord for ransom. After the Tibetan government paid the money, Gyatso and his family reached Lhasa. He took the throne when he was four years old and became a monk at six.
- When he was young, he became friends with Austrian mountaineer and explorer Heinrich Harrer. Harrer’s friendship with the young monk formed the basis of his book Seven Years In Tibet.
- He is seen as the 74th incarnation of Avalokiteshvara Bodhisattva. Tibetans refer to him as Yeshe Norbu (the Wish-fulfilling Gem), or Kundun, (The Presence).
- The Dalai Lama’s hobbies include meditation, gardening and repairing old watches.
- He has stated that if he was not raised as a monk, he would have gone into engineering due to his keen interest in science.
- He is godfather to Homer Gere, the son of Hollywood actor Richard Gere.
- The Dalai Lama wakes up daily at 3 am and begins his day with prayers and meditation. He ends his day at 7 pm on most occasions.
- He has been accorded several honours including the Nobel Peace Prize, as well as the Congressional Gold Medal by the US Congress.
- He has hinted that his successor would be found in exile and not in Tibet. He has also stated that he might appoint the 15th Dalai Lama himself, a remark that drew criticism from China.
July 04, 2022 18:16:30 IST