Dalai Lama turns 87: A peek at his life, teachings, achievements
Even as the Tibetan community across the world prepares to celebrate the day with fun and frolic, wishes poured in for the spiritual leader from several corners of the world.
Reports say, the Thiksey monastery in Ladakh has been pushing for the declaration of July 6 as an official holiday in the union territory to honour the Dalai Lama.
Who is the Dalai Lama?
Gyatso, the current Dalai Lama, is the highest spiritual leader and former head of the state of Tibet. He was born on July 6, 1935, and is considered the successor in the line of taluks, believed to be incarnations of Avalokitesvara.
He was appointed as the head of the Tibetan state, by the central government of Tibet, Ganden Phodrang. This was until his exile in 1959, after the annexation of Tibet by the People’s Republic of China. After being given sanctuary in India, he established the Independent Tibetan government in exile in Mussoorie and later moved it to Dharamshala in May 1960. The Dalai Lama retired as Tibet’s political head in 2011 to make way for a democratic government, known as the Central Tibetan Administration.
Dalai Lama’s approach towards China
The Dalai Lama continues to be the spiritual leader of Tibet even while in exile. He calls for the ‘Middle Way Approach’ with China to peacefully resolve the issue of Tibet, and continues to advocate for the welfare of the Tibetans.
The Dalai Lama continues to travel worldwide to meet other leaders, philosophers and scientists to impart Tibetan Buddhist teachings to the world. Some of his famous teachings are those on the Tibetan Mahayana, Vajrayana Buddhism and Kalachakra.
He is also the chief patron of the Maha Bodhi Society on India. The title was conferred upon him at the 2008 Annual General Meeting of the Maha Bodhi Society of India.
The Dalai Lama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989. He was also conferred with the US Congressional Gold Medal in 2006. The Times Magazine named him one of the “Children of Mahatma Gandhi” and Gandhi’s spiritual heir to nonviolence.