14th Dalai Lama
The 14th Dalai Lama (spiritual name Jetsun Jamphel Ngawang Lobsang Yeshe Tenzin Gyatso, known as Tenzin Gyatso; born Lhamo Dhondup), is the current Dalai Lama, the highest spiritual leader of Tibet, and a retired political leader of Tibet. Born on 6 July 1935, or in the Tibetan calendar, in the Wood-Pig Year, 5th month, 5th day, he is considered a living Bodhisattva; specifically, an emanation of Avalokiteśvara. He is also the leader of the Gelug school, the newest and currently most dominant of the four major schools of Tibetan Buddhism, formally headed by the Ganden Tripa. The government of Tibet, the Ganden Phodrang, invested the Dalai Lama with temporal duties until his exile in 1959. On 29 April 1959, the Dalai Lama established the independent Tibetan government in exile in the north Indian hill station of Mussoorie, which then moved in May 1960 to Dharamshala, where he resides. He retired as political head in 2011 to make way for a democratic government.The 14th Dalai Lama was born as one of three reincarnated rinpoches in one farming family, in Taktser (Hongya in Chinese), in Amdo (Qinghai in Chinese), northeastern Tibet. He was selected as one of 3 reincarnated soul boys of the 13th Dalai Lama in 1937, but declared as the 14th Dalai Lama by Kashag on August 23, 1939 by ignoring the other two candidates before sitting-in-the-bed. As with the approval process for the 13th Dalai Lama, request to exempt Lhamo Thondup from lot-drawing process using Golden Urn to become the 14th Dalai Lama was approved by the Central Government on February 5th 1940. His sitting-in-the-bed ceremony as the Dalai Lama was held in Lhasa on 22 February 1940. On 17 November 1950, he was enthroned hastily based on advice of oracles after news of the PLA victories in Battle of Chamdo, before the Seventeen Point Agreement was signed and ratified. During the 1959 Tibetan uprising, the Dalai Lama escaped to India, where he currently lives in exile while remaining the most important spiritual leader of Tibet. The Dalai Lama advocates for the welfare of Tibetans while continuing to call for the Middle Way Approach to negotiations with China for the autonomy of Tibet and the protection of Tibetan culture, including for the religious rights of Tibetans.
The Dalai Lama also meets with other world leaders, religious leaders, philosophers and scientists, and travels worldwide giving Tibetan Buddhist teachings. His work includes focus on the environment, economics, women's rights, nonviolence, interfaith dialogue, physics, astronomy, Buddhism and science, cognitive neuroscience, reproductive health and sexuality. Along with his teachings on Tibetan Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhism, the Dalai Lama's Kalachakra teachings and initiations are international events. He is the chief Patron of the Maha Bodhi Society of India, 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, and the US Congressional Gold Medal in 2006. Time magazine named the Dalai Lama one of the "Children of Mahatma Gandhi" and Gandhi's spiritual heir to nonviolence.