Ocean of Compassion
The Fourteenth Dalai Lama
Born: 1935 Residence: Dharamsala, India Birth Name: Tenzin Gyatso
Dalai Lama: “teacher whose wisdom is as great as the ocean”; an honorary title bestowed by the Mongolian prince Altan Khan on the third head of the Gelukpa school in 1578. This close connection with Mongolia brought the school of Tsongkhapa into a position of political preeminence, which with the fifth dalai lama (1617-82) was consolidated into rulership over all of Tibet. Since this time, the Dalai Lama has been regarded as an incarnation of Avalokiteshvara, and the Panchen Lama has been venerated as his spiritual representative. Each Dalai Lama is considered a reincarnation (tulku) of the preceding Dalai Lamas. The Dalai Lamas not only fulfilled their role as heads of state. Among them are also great scholars and poets filled with joie de vivre, like the sixth Dalai Lama. The fourteenth Dalai
Lama, in exile since 1959, combines in his person a spiritual and political authority that is still binding for the Tibetan people.