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The origin of the Dalai Lama

1409
The origin of the Dalai Lama
  • In 1409, Tsongkhapa, a monk from Quinhai established a new Buddhist sect called the Gelugpa or the Yellow Hat.
  • It became popular with the support of a Mongol king.
  • Tsongkhapa's principle disciple, a monk by the name of Gedun Drupa, was given the responsibility to spread the teachings of the sect over Tibet, becoming the first of those known as the Dalai Lama.

How it all began?

1577
How it all began?
  • The title of the Overseer of the Buddhist Faith- the Dalai Lama, was given by the Mongol king Althan Khan to Soinam Gyamco, the third generation Buddhist leader in 1577.
  • The Quing emperor officially gave authority to this position in 1653, along with a golden seal.
  • He was appointed the principal theocratic leader of Tibet, with administrative and religious powers over the province.

How is the One chosen?

Process
How is the One chosen?
  • The Dalai Lama isn't chosen, he is found.
  • The search, conducted in Tibet, involves watching the smoke of the last cremated Dalai Lama, visions in the Lhamo La-Tso and traditionally, is the responsibilty of the High Lamas.
  • Once a boy is found, he is tested according to rules; after confirmation, he is taken to Lhasa to begin preparations to become the next spiritual leader.

Current Dalai Lama in exile

1959
Current Dalai Lama in exile
  • The current Dalai Lama, the 14th, has been in exile since 1959.
  • Tibet, which had been free since 1912, was invaded by China in 1950, which set about controlling it by force.
  • In 1959, Tibetans engaged in an abortive uprising against the Chinese in an effort to reinstate the Dalai Lama as the leader of Tibet, following which he fled to Dharamshala, in India.

The 14th disciple more than just a spiritual leader

Status
The 14th disciple more than just a spiritual leader
  • The present Dalai Lama is more than a spiritual leader.
  • He is the political leader of exiled Tibetans and has been trying to reach a solution with China where Tibet is given autonomy.
  • A Nobel Peace Prize recipient, he has been campaigning non-violently to solve the problem of his homeland.
  • Despite this, bitter Tibetans continue to riot and China reacts continues to violently.

MIA since 1995

Fact
Do you know?

Gendun Choekyi Nyima was recognised as the 11th reincarnation of the Panchen Lama in 1995. China removed him and has been holding him in custody or "protection" since he was 6 years old, having placed a boy of their own choosing on the throne.

To be reborn or not?

9 Mar 2015
To be reborn or not?
  • The Chinese appointed Tibetan governor denounced the Dalai Lama as trying to appropriate China's rights, after the latter announced that he might not be reincarnated.
  • He believes Tibetans don't need a Dalai Lama anymore. He says that if a rebirth happened, it would not be in a country under Chinese rule.
  • Supporters fear that China may choose a Dalai Lama solely for political ends.

It is China vs the Dalai Lama!

20 Jul 2015
It is China vs the Dalai Lama!
  • China and the Dalai Lama are at loggerheads on who's responsible for selecting the next Dalai Lama.
  • China asserts its position and authority, historically, as the selector, having created the title for the 5th Dalai Lama back in 1653.
  • The latter claims it as his natural responsibility and wants to confer with Tibetan exiles and Tibetans inside China as part of the selection process.

India says Dalai Lama can visit Arunachal Pradesh

28 Oct 2016
India says Dalai Lama can visit Arunachal Pradesh
  • In the light of recent distress between India and China, the subject of Dalai Lama's visit remained ambiguous.
  • With regards to Dalai Lama's visit, external affairs spokesperson Vikas Swarup said, "The Dalai Lama has a sizeable following among Buddhists in Arunachal Pradesh, who would like to seek his blessings. We will see nothing unusual if he visits again."