Buddhism facts

Some Lesser Known Facts About The Tibetan Spiritual Leader

The 14th Dalai Lama is an inspiration to millions around the world for his simplicity and humble attitude. He has dedicated his life to raising awareness of the plight of Tibet under Chinese rule.

Archive image of the Dalai Lama. News18

His Holiness the Dalai Lama is 87 years old today. Born as Tenzin Gyatso on July 6, 1935, the Buddhist spiritual leader came to India in 1959 after the 1959 Tibetan uprising and China’s brutal suppression of the revolt.

The 14th Dalai Lama is an inspiration to millions around the world for his simplicity and humble attitude. He has dedicated his life to raising awareness of the plight of Tibet under Chinese rule. The Dalai Lama has also lectured around the world on the principles of Buddhism.

On his 87th birthday, here are some lesser-known facts about the spiritual leader:

  • The Dalai Lama was discovered by Tibetan monks when he was just two years old. He passed all the tests proposed by the monks and was proclaimed the next spiritual leader of his community.
  • He and his family were held by a Chinese warlord for ransom. After the Tibetan government paid the money, Gyatso and his family reached Lhasa. He ascended the throne at the age of four and became a monk at six.
  • When he was young, he befriended the Austrian mountaineer and explorer Heinrich Harrer. Harrer’s friendship with the young monk formed the basis of his book Seven years in Tibet.
  • He is considered the 74th incarnation of Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara. Tibetans call it Yeshe Norbu (the wish-fulfilling jewel) or Kundun (presence).
  • The Dalai Lama’s hobbies include meditation, gardening and repairing old watches.
  • He said that if he hadn’t been raised as a monk, he would have gone into engineering because of his keen interest in science.
  • He is the godfather of Homer Gere, the son of Hollywood actor Richard Gere.
  • The Dalai Lama wakes up every day at 3 a.m. and begins his day with prayers and meditation. He ends his day at 7 p.m. most of the time.
  • He has received several honors, including the Nobel Peace Prize, as well as the Congressional Gold Medal from the US Congress.
  • He implied that his successor would be in exile and not in Tibet. He also said he could nominate the 15th Dalai Lama himself, a remark that drew criticism from China.

Update date:

Jul 04, 2022 6:16:30 PM IST