The Dalai Lama is regarded by Tibetan Buddhists as one of a succession of incarnations of the Bodhisattva of compassion, Chenrezig ("the Seeing-Eye" Lord), who has long been considered to be the patron deity of Tibet.
The current Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, is the fourteenth and is both the head of state of Tibet and the spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism. He has lived in exile in Dharamsala, India, since 1959 due to the Chinese invasion of Tibet. Dharamsala is the current location of the Tibetan Government in Exile.
In 1989 he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for leading the non-violent struggle for the liberation of Tibet from Chinese communist oppression. He has consistently advocated policies of non-violence, even in the face of extreme aggression. He also became the first Nobel Laureate to be recognized for his concern for global environmental problems.
In May of 1995, the Dalai Lama recognized six-year-old Gedhun Choekyi Nyima as the reincarnation of the Panchen Lama. (Custom dictates that only the Dalai Lama can recognize the reincarnation of the next Panchen Lama, and vice versa.) Days later, the boy and his family were taken into custody by the Chinese government. In November, the government nominated its own puppet Panchen Lama. Despite appeals, the Chinese government has not allowed any outside contact with the kidnapped boy or his family.
In a speech to Chinese students at the University of Minnesota on May 2011, he admitted that he was an ascriber to Marxism, and even considered joining the Communist party during his youth, although he stated that he was not a Leninist.
"Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions."
Dalai Lama on Abstinence
The Dalai Lama has proclaimed a firm position in favor of abstinence, showing that the wisdom of abstaining until marriage is central to many religions around the world. He said, "Sexual pressure, sexual desire, actually I think is short period satisfaction and often, that leads to more complication."
- Thirteen Previous Dalai Lamas
- Official web page of the 14th Dalai Lama
- Dalai Lama Quotes - Happiness
- The Dalai Lama's biography