Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Thursday Thirteen #15

13 Things about His Holiness, the 14th Dalai Lama

I am reading the book "How To Practice The Way to a Meaningful Life" by his holiness, the 14th Dalai Lama. It's a great book, easily read and understood and prompted me to find out more about the history of the Dalai Lamas, who are the religious heads of the people of Tibet.

I remember first hearing about the Dalai Lama when the actor Richard Gere became a Buddhist and brought the occupation of Tibet by China into the forefront. It was then I heard that the Dalai Lama had to flee his country to India for safety and how the people of Tibet have suffered under Chinese rule.

So without further ado, here are 13 things about his holiness, the 14th Dalai Lama:

1. The title Dalai Lama is granted to the each of the previous leaders successive reincarnations. In other words, after the passing of the 13th Dalai Lama, his reincarnation will be titled the 14th Dalai Lama. This position is one of both head of state and spiritual leader of the people of Tibet.

2. Upon the death of a Dalai Lama, his monks begin the search for his reincarnation in the form of a small child. This search lasts usually several years and the "chosen one" generally demonstrates some familiarity with the possessions of the previous Dalai Lama.

3. Once the "golden child" is chosen, he is taken to Lhasa to be trained by the other Lamas. His curriculum consisted of 5 major and 5 minor subjects: Logic, Tibetan art and culture, Sanskrit, medicine and Buddhist philosophy; the minor subjects being: poetry, music and drama, astrology, motre and phrasing and synonyms.

4. On December 17, 1933 the 13th Dalai Lama passes away at the age of 57.

5. On July 6, 1935, Tenzin Gyatso is born in Taktser, Kumbum (Amdo).

6. At the age of 4, he travels for 3 months to Lhasa and later that year there is public declaration of the Official Recognition of the 14th Dalai Lama.

7. He begins his monastic education at the age of five in 1940 and at the age of 15 on November 17, 1950 assumes full political power after the Chinese invasion of Tibet in 1949.

8. From December 16, 1950 to 1959, the Dalai Lama was constantly moved due to threats by the Chinese military leaders. He visits China for peace talks extensively from 1954 to 1955, but by 1959, he narrowly escapes his homeland after the Chinese fire artillery shells at his residence.

9. On March 30, 1959, the Dalai Lama enters India and has remained in exile since.

10. During the 1960's and 1970's, he travels extensively throughout Europe and the west, not pleading his specific cause, but for peace between all nations.

11. He addresses Congress on September 21, 1987 with the proposed peace plan: transformation of the whole of Tibet into a zone of peace; abandonment of China's population transfer policy that threatens the very existence fo the Tibetans as a people; respect for the Tibetan people's fundamental human rights and democratic freedoms; restoration and protection of Tibet's natural environment and China's use of Tibet for the production of nuclear weapons and dumping of of nuclear waste; and the commencement of earnest negotiations concerning the future of the relations between the Tibetan and Chinese people.

12. December 10, 1989 the Dalai Lama is awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace in Oslo, Norway.

13, The Dalai Lama is the first Nobel Laureate to be recognized for his concern for global environmental problems.

Here is his chair in Tibet, where one day the man who describes himself as a "simple Buddhist monk" hopes he will be able to rest in once again.


Moondancer said...

It's so sad that he can't go home. I watched most of the webcast (5 hours ug). He's led an interesting live and kept to his principles. I got to give him props for that.

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

Cool stuff, Lara. Hope you're getting a lot out of the book -- feel free to share anything!!

Happy TT!

Raggedy said...

Terrific Thursday Thirteen!
My TT is posted.
Have a wonderful day!
Happy TT'ing!
(")_ (")Š

Nicholas said...

Very interesting list.

Lori said...

I never really looked into that religion until recently. I think he knows a thing or two about a thing or two. Its a wonderful way to think. Great list...Happy TT and thanks for stopping by:)

No Nonsense Girl said...

That's soo cool and interesting!!! Thanks for informing me and all of us on the Dalai Lama!!! :)

WorksForMom said...

Wow, I read every single word and learned SOOO much. I think it's incredibly sad he has been in exile since 1959. Wow. Thanks for sharing this!

Malcolm: said...

I didn't realize that the current Dalai Lama assumed power at the tender age of 15!

By the way, thanks for commenting on my TT about shows that "jumped the shark". Although I didn't watch "The X-Files", based on what I heard/read about it during the last couple of seasons... it went on a couple of seasons too long. That's a shame because I also heard that during it's prime, "The X-Files" was one of the best shows on TV.

Open Grove Claudia said...

How fun to learn new things about such a great man. I think it would be so very hard to leave your home at such a young age (5 years) but they say that it's too dangerous for the children to leave them with people. People tend to be crueler to the blessed.

Happy TT!

pussreboots said...

He is a fascinating person. Happy TT. Thanks for stopping by.

Tempest Knight said...

Great facts! Very interesting! :) Happy T13!

Nicole Austin said...

Great list! He is a very interesting man.

Happy TT!

damozel said...

Absolutely fascinating...I always wondered about the golden child and how they knew him when they saw him.

Anonymous said...

I didn't realize The Golden Child was found/selected until after the Dalai Lama died. Who acts as head of state and spiritual leader until the Golden Child is old enough to assume the mantel? Anne.

Yuriko said...

How fascinating! Thanks for sharing!

Yen said...

This are very interesting lists!TFS:)

Mine is up here;
Thursday Thirteen
Happy TT and Happy Halloween!

Xakara said...

This is a wonderful topic. I've been fascinated by the extraordinary life that's been led by such a simple man. Thanks for the information. I'd love to read anything else you wish to share on it. :)

Happy TT


Darla said...

This is fascinating! I'd read Seven Years in Tibet as a teenager, but a lot of this was new to me.

Janet said...

The Dalai Lama is an amazing man, thank you for writing about him and sharing the story of his life!

Kats said...

Very interesting facts about Dalai Lama! Great list. My # 13 is up

Nap Warden said...

What a thoughtful and imformative TT. Nice job!

Joyismygoal said...

I knew his peace work and reincarnation--I wonder whathis daily life has been like? advisers? readings? schooling? family?

Amy Ruttan said...

I think the Dali Llama rocks. What a humanitarian! He's in Canada right now. I wish I could see him.

Nicole said...

That's a really neat list. I think I must learn more about him - I never realized, for instance, that each Dalai Lama was chosen because he was thought to be the reincarnation of the previous one. Very interesting subject!

Deb said...

Great Thursday post! I just posted my Thursday! Three in one!



amanda rae said...

wow, that was a creative list! i just posted my tt!

Chelle Y. said...

Interesting. Happy TT!

impworks said...

Really interesting and informative TT. Thanks :-)

Titania Starlight said...

A truly remarkable man.he is making history in helping mankind to evolve as humans. He is a gentle soul indeed.

Well done.Thank you.

colleen said...

I learned a lot about the Dalai Lama from the movie "Seven Years in Tibet" and another one I forget the name of.
I would love to be in his presence someday.

Anonymous said...

DL is one of the people I would like to meet before I do. The only person I know who smiles more than him is Tom Cruise.

Favorite DL quote:

"Open your arms to change, but don't let go of your values."

I have posted some workplace stress busters this week. I think DL would approve.

Robin said...

Fascinating list. I'd love the opportunity to hear him speak someday.