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Dalai Lama, Tibet's political leader, has strived to make Tibet an independent and democratic state from China. He and his followers are exiled to India.
Dalai Lama - Ocean of Wisdom (1:09)
Watch a short video about Dalai Lama and find out how the Buddhist monk fights for Tibet's freedom.
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After working all his life for the freedom of India, Jawaharlal Nehru became India's first Prime Minister on August 15th, 1947.
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The Dalai Lama was born Lhamo Thondup on July 6, 1935 in Taktser, China. At age 15, he assumed political power of Tibet as the Dalai Lama. The People's Republic of China invaded that same year. Fearing assassination, he and thousands of followers fled to Dharamsala in northern India, where they established an alternative government. Since then, the Dalai Lama has taken numerous actions in hopes of establishing an autonomous Tibetan state within the People's Republic of China. However,
"The true value of existence is revealed through compassion."
"Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible."
the Chinese government has shown no signs of moving toward peace and reconciliation with Tibet. The Dalai Lama has also conducted hundreds of conferences, lectures and workshops worldwide, as part of his humanitarian efforts. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989. In December 2008, the Dalai Lama announced his semi-retirement after having gallstone surgery.
Lhamo Thondup was born on July 6, 1935 in Taktser, China, northeast of Tibet, to a peasant family. He is the head of state and spiritual leader of the Tibetan government-in-exile based in Dharamshala, India. Tibetans believe him to be the reincarnation of his predecessors. For nearly 50 years, he had aimed to establish Tibet as a self-governing, democratic state.
Lhamo Thondup was the fifth of 16 children—seven of whom died at a young age. After several months of searching for a successor to the 13th Dalai Lama and following many significant spiritual signs, religious officials located Lhamo Thondup, at age 2, and identified him as the reincarnation of the 13th Dalai Lama, Thubten Gyatso. Young Lhamo was renamed Tenzin Gyatso and proclaimed the 14th Dalai Lama.
Dalai Lamas are believed to be the reincarnation of Avalokitesvara, an important Buddhist deity and the personification of compassion. Dalai Lamas are also enlightened beings who have postponed their own afterlife and chosen to take rebirth to benefit humanity. "Dalai" means "ocean" in Mongolian (the name "Gyatso" comes from the Tibetan word for ocean). "Lama" is the equivalent of the Sanskrit word "guru," or spiritual teacher. Put together, the title of Dalai Lama is literally "Ocean Teacher," meaning a "teacher spiritually as deep as the ocean."
Buddhism was created in the sixth century, BCE, with the birth of Buddha Siddhartha Gautama, making it one of the oldest religions practiced today. Originating in India, the religion spread throughout most of eastern and southern Asia. Buddhism came to Tibet in the 8th century, CE. Unlike other religions that are centered on a supreme being, Buddhism is centered on four basic truths: Life is not perfect; people are left unsatisfied by trying to make life perfect; people can realize there is a better way to achieve fulfillment; and by living one's life through wisdom, ethical conduct and mental discipline, people will reach enlightenment.
Within these truths are countless layers of teachings on the nature of existence, life, death and the self. Buddhism encourages its followers not to believe in those teachings, as followers of other religions believe in their religion's central figures and dogma, but rather to explore, understand, and test the truths against their own experiences.
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When Swedish industrialist Alfred Nobel died in 1896, he left his fortune to create an annual series of prizes for the individuals who confer "the greatest benefit on mankind." The most prestigious of the awards is the Nobel Peace Prize. Historians believe Alfred Nobel wanted to award people who work for peace to compensate for his own role in inventing dynamite. Since its establishment, the prize has gone to many courageous individuals who have fought for peace and human rights around the world.
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