Buddhism, the religion which has its root in India has now spread throughout the Asia.Tibet which follows the TibetanBuddhism is inspired by the Mahayana and Vajrayana forms, which are part of ancient North Indian Buddhist tradition. Dalai Lamas are the greatest followers of Buddhism. In Tibet,Buddhism and Dalai Lama goes simultaneously.
According to Tibetan Buddhism tenets,it is believed that the highly spiritual religious teachers,returns to the world after their death.They are strongly motivated by their compassion towards the people of this world.This occurs through re-incarnation. In the 14thCentury, there were several teachers who were commonly called as “incarnate lamas.” Among them, the famous is The Dalai Lamas, followed by The Panchen Lamas who are responsible for finding the incarnation of the Dalai Lama.
The Dalai Lama is believed to be the successor in the line of tulkus.The term is of Mongolic origin, and is a combination of two words. “Dalai” meaning ‘ocean’ and “Lama” means ‘guru’.
In Tibet,it is firmly believed that Avalokitesvara, which is the bodhisattva of compassion, had a great relationship with the Tibetanpeople. From this belief rose the Dalai Lama. Thus, this started the Dalai Lama lineage, and currently Dalai Lama, fourteen is there.
The first Dalai Lama had a humble beginning.Pema Dorje,his original name was a boy born in a cattle pen.After his father’s death,his mother sent him to his uncle, who was a monk. After studying Buddhist philosophy deeply, he changed his name to GendunDrup.Tsongkhapa,the founder of the Gelugpa School,met with GendunDrup.He became the student of TshongKhepa and eventually after TshongKhepa’sdeath, took over the Gelugpa monastery.
With his immense energy and ability, he founded the Tashilhunpomonastery. He stayed there, making his Abbot until his death in 1447. He was the greatest scholar-saint, and with his immense hard -work,he gained the leading Lama or the “Perfect of the Monkhood”. He earned the honorary title of “Panchen”. At the age of 50,he entered into mediation stage, and thus raised the second Dalai Lama.
With the death of GendenDrup,SangyeyPel was born.At the age of 3,he declared himself to be the nest “GendenDrup”.He spoke in mystical verses and with his act, theGelgupa elders had to accept him as a re incarnation of Genden Drup. He was also of great merit and made rapid progress.
After this, a succession of Dalai Lamas followed. After 2nd Dalai Lama, followed 3rdDalai Lama whose name was SonamGyatso (1543-1588) who was born in Tolung.
4th Dalai Lama, (1589-1617) whose name was YontenGyatso, was a Mongolian.
5th Dalai Lama
6th Dalai Lama (1683-1706) was born near Twang.
The current Dalai Lama, The Dalai Lama 14th, whose name is Tenzin Gyatso, born in the LhamoThondup in the year 1935. He was of Tibetan parentage. He was accepted and recognizedto be the incarnation of Dalai Lama the 13th and eventually crowned in 1940.
He had to flee to India in the year of 1959, the year when Tibetan people led an unsuccessful revolt against Communist Chinese forces. The Dalai Lama set up a government-in-exile in Dharamsala.
In 1989, the Dalai Lama was awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace for his admirable non -violent support to Tibetan people to end Chinese Domination in Tibet