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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.
As Gandhi became the leader in the struggle for Indian Independence, Jawaharlal Nehru sought to join his movement.
Jawaharlal Nehru was born on November 14, 1889, in Allahabad, India. Yet his early life experiences couldn't foreshadow the fiery political life he would come to lead.
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 emphasis here is on the exploration. The Buddhist belief of rebirth is a concept of "renewal" and not exactly reincarnation of a spirit or body. Under Buddhism, the consciousness of a person can become part of the consciousness of another person, as a flame moves from one candle to another. The second flame is not identical to the first, nor is it totally different. Thus, Buddhists believe life is a continual journey of experience and discovery and not divided between life and the afterlife.
Tenzin began his religious education at age 6. His schooling consisted of logic, Tibetan art and culture, Sanskrit, medicine and Buddhist philosophy, which is divided into five other categories dealing with the perfection of wisdom, monastic discipline, metaphysics, logic and epistemology—the study of knowledge. At age 11, Tenzin met Heinrich Harrer, an Austrian mountaineer, who became one of his tutors, teaching him about the outside world. The two remained friends until Harrer's death in 2006.
In 1950, at the age of 15, Tenzin assumed full political power as the Dalai Lama. However, his governorship was short. In October of that year, the People's Republic of China invaded Tibet against little resistance. In 1954, the Dalai Lama went to Beijing for peace talks with Mao Zedong and other Chinese leaders. However, in 1959, continued suppression of the Tibetan people by Chinese troops led to their uprising. The Dalai Lama and his closest advisers believed the Chinese government was planning to assassinate him. Consequently, he and several thousand followers fled to Dharamshala in northern India and established an alternative government there.
At the time, the People's Republic of China considered the Dalai Lama to be a symbol of an obsolete religious movement, not in line with communist philosophy. More recently, the Chinese government alleges that he is a separatist and a traitor for advocating Tibetan self-rule, and a terrorist for inciting Tibetan rebellion.
Since the Chinese invasion, the Dalai Lama has taken numerous actions in hopes of establishing an autonomous Tibetan state within the People's Republic of China. In 1963, he issued a draft constitution for Tibet containing a number of reforms to democratize the government. Called the Charter of Tibetans in Exile, it grants freedom of speech, belief, assembly, and movement. It also provides detailed guidelines for Tibetans living in exile.
During the 1960s, the Central Intelligence Agency funded and trained Tibetan forces to resist the Chinese invasion and occupation with the Dalai Lama's full knowledge and support. The program was a failure as thousands of lives were lost in the resistance and is now considered merely a Cold War tactic on the part of the United States to challenge the Chinese government's legitimacy in the region.
In September 1987, the Dalai Lama proposed the Five Point Peace Plan for Tibet as the first steps in a peaceful solution to reconcile with the Chinese government and end the volatile situation there.
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