41 Facts About Dalai-lama


Dalai-lama has worked to overcome sectarian and other divisions in the exiled community and has become a symbol of Tibetan nationhood for Tibetans both in Tibet and in exile.

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Dalai-lama established the method by which later Dalai Lama incarnations would be discovered through visions at the "oracle lake", Lhamo Lhatso.

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Dalai-lama made himself known as the tulku of Gendun Gyatso and was formally recognised and enthroned at Drepung in 1546.

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Dalai-lama studied Buddhist philosophy extensively and in 1405, ordained by Narthang's abbot, he took the name of Gendun Drup.

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Dalai-lama rose to become Abbot of Drepung, the greatest Gelugpa monastery, outside Lhasa.

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Dalai-lama was based there, as its Abbot, from its founding in 1447 until his death.

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Dalai-lama's mortal remains were interred in a bejewelled silver stupa at Tashi Lhunpo Monastery, which survived the Cultural Revolution and can still be seen.

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Dalai-lama spoke in mystical verses, quoted classical texts out of the blue and said he was Dromtonpa, an earlier incarnation of the Dalai Lamas.

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Dalai-lama was then 8, but until his 12th year his father took him on his teachings and retreats, training him in all the family Nyingma lineages.

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Dalai-lama was accorded all the loyalty and devotion that Gendun Drup had earned and the Gelug school remained as united as ever.

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Dalai-lama stayed in Kongpo and Dagpo and became known all over Tibet.

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Dalai-lama spent his winters in Lhasa, writing commentaries and the rest of the year travelling and teaching many thousands of monks and lay people.

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Dalai-lama was made abbot of Tashilhunpo and stayed there teaching in Tsang for 9 months.

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Dalai-lama attracted many students and disciples 'from Kashmir to China' as well as major patrons and disciples such as Gongma Nangso Donyopa of Droda who built a monastery at Zhekar Dzong in his honour and invited him to name it and be its spiritual guide.

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Dalai-lama died in meditation at Drepung in 1542 at 67 and his reliquary stupa was constructed at Khyomorlung.

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Dalai-lama's influence grew so quickly that soon the monks at Sera Monastery made him their Abbot and his mediation was being sought to prevent fighting between political power factions.

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Dalai-lama then instituted a custom whereby on the last day of Monlam, all the monks would work on strengthening the flood defences.

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Dalai-lama promised them he would be incarnated next in Mongolia, as a Mongolian.

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Dalai-lama studied at Drepung and became its abbot but being a non-Tibetan he met with opposition from some Tibetans, especially the Karma Kagyu who felt their position was threatened by these emerging events; there were several attempts to remove him from power.

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Dalai-lama died on the way, in 1634 but his vassal Choghtu Khong Tayiji, continued to advance against the Gelugpas, even having his own son Arslan killed after Arslan changed sides, submitted to the Dalai Lama and become a Gelugpa monk.

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Dalai-lama attacked Choghtu Khong Tayiji at Kokonor in 1637 and defeated and killed him, thus eliminating the Tsangpa and the Karmapa's main Mongol patron and protector.

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Dalai-lama criticised the words carved on this gift as being faultily translated into Tibetan, writing that "The Tibetan version of the inscription of the seal was translated by a Mongol translator but was not a good translation".

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Dalai-lama taught and travelled extensively, reshaped the politics of Central Asia, unified Tibet, conceived and constructed the Potala Palace and is remembered for establishing systems of national medical care and education.

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Dalai-lama pretended the Dalai Lama was in retreat and ruled on his behalf, secretly selecting the 6th Dalai Lama and presenting him as someone else.

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Dalai-lama did recognize him in 1710 after sending a Qing official party to assist Lhazang in 'restoring order'; these were the first Chinese representatives of any sort to officiate in Tibet.

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Dalai-lama played a symbolic role in government, and, being profoundly revered by the Mongols, he exercised much influence with the Qing who now had now taken over Tibet's patronage and protection from them.

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Dalai-lama studied and taught Buddhism there for the next seven years.

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Dalai-lama is credited with the construction of the Norbulingka 'Summer Palace' started by his predecessor in Lhasa and with ordaining some ten thousand monks in his efforts to foster monasticism.

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Dalai-lama was adequately prepared by spiritual exercise and he had faithful cooks.

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Dalai-lama ascribes the probable cause of these early deaths to negligence, foolishness and lack of proper medical knowledge and attention.

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Dalai-lama passed all the tests and was brought to Lhasa but official recognition was delayed until 1822 when he was enthroned and ordained by the Seventh Panchen Lama.

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Dalai-lama identified with ordinary people rather than the court officials and often sat on his verandah in the sunshine with the office clerks.

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Dalai-lama was enthroned as ruler of Tibet in 1855, on orders of the Xianfeng Emperor.

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Dalai-lama died after just 11 months, no reason for his sudden and premature death being given in these accounts, Shakabpa and Mullin's histories both being based on untranslated Tibetan chronicles.

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Dalai-lama came to the notice of the search team, was investigated, passed the traditional tests and was recognised as the 12th Dalai Lama in 1858.

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Dalai-lama's minority seems a time of even deeper Lhasan political intrigue and power struggles than his predecessor's.

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Dalai-lama then ruled with "absolute power" for three years, quelling a major rebellion in northern Kham in 1863 and re-establishing Tibetan control over significant Qing-held territory there.

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Dalai-lama expelled the ambans and all Chinese civilians in the country and instituted many measures to modernize Tibet.

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Dalai-lama continued to seek greater autonomy from China, but Dolma Gyari, deputy speaker of the parliament-in-exile, stated: "If the middle path fails in the short term, we will be forced to opt for complete independence or self-determination as per the UN charter".

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Dalai-lama warned that any Chinese interference in succession should not be considered valid.

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Dalai-lama has given reference to a possible vote occurring in the future for all Tibetan Buddhists to decide whether they wish to recognize his rebirth.

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