His Holiness The Dalai Lama

 

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HIS HOLINESS THE DALAI LAMA

The Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, is the spiritual and temporal Leader of the Tibetan people. He was born on July 6, 1935, in a small village called Taktser, in north eastern Tibet. Born to a peasant family, His Holiness was recognised at the age of two, in accordance with Tibetan tradition, as the reincarnation of his predecessor the 13th Dalai Lama.

The Dalai Lamas are the manifestations of the Buddha of Compassion who chose to take rebirth for the purpose of serving other human beings. Dalai Lama means Ocean of Wisdom. Tibetans normally refer to His Holiness as Yeshe Norbu, the Wish-fulfilling Gem or simply Kundun, meaning The Presence.

When the 13th Dalai Lama had passed away in 1933, the task which confronted the Tibetan Government was not to simply appoint a successor but to seek for and discover a child in whom the Buddha of Compassion would incarnate. It was not necessary that the child should have been born just at the time of the death of His predecessor, or even soon after.

As on former occasions, there would be indications of the directions in which the search should be made, and that the child would be found to possess physical and mental attributes similar to those of his predecessor.

In 1935, the Regent of Tibet went to the sacred lake of Lhamoe Lhatso about 90 miles southeast of Lhasa, Tibet's capital. The Tibetans have observed that visions of the future can be seen in this lake. The regent saw the vision of three Tibetan letters : "Ah" "Ka" and "Ma" followed by a picture of a monastery with roofs of jade green and gold and a house with turquoise tiles. A detailed description of these visions were written down and kept a strict secret.

In 1937, high lamas and dignitaries, carrying the secrets of the visions, were sent to all parts of Tibet to search for the place which the regent had seen in the waters. The search party which headed east was under the leadership of Lama Kewtsang Rinpoche of Sera Monastery. When they arrived in Amdo, they found a place matching the description of the secret vision. The party went to the house with Kewtsang Rinpoche disguised as a servant and a junior official Lobsang Tsewang disguised as the leader. The Rinpoche was wearing a rosary which belonged to the 13th Dalai Lama, and the little boy recognizing it, demanded that it should be given to him. Kewtsang Rinpoche asked who the leader was and the boy replied that he was Sera Aga, which meant in the local dialect, "a Lama of Sera". The Rinpoche asked who the leader was and the boy gave his name correctly. He also knew the name of the real servant. This was followed by a series of tests which included choosing of correct articles which belonged to the 13th Dalai Lama. By these tests, they were further convinced that the reincarnation had been found and their conviction was enhanced by the vision of three letters: "Ah" stood for Amdo, name of the province, "Ka" stood for Kumbum, one of the largest monasteries in the neighbourhood or the two letters

"Ka" and "Ma" stood for the monastery of Karma Rolpai Dorjee on the mountain above the village. It was also significant that once the 13th Dalai Lama had stayed at the monastery on His way back from China. In 1940, the new Dalai Lama was enthroned.

He began His education at the age of six and completed the Geshe Lharampa Degree (Doctrate of Buddhist Philosophy) when He was 25. At 24, His Holiness took the preliminary examinations at each of the three monastic universities: Drepung, Sera and Ganden. The final examination was held in the Jokhang, Lhasa, during the annual Monlam Festival of prayer which is held in the first month of each year. In the morning He was examined on logic by 30 scholars turn by turn in congregational discussion. In the afternoon, 15 scholars took part as his opponents in the debate on the Middle Path, and in the evening 35 scholars tested his knowledge of the canon of monastic discipline and the study of metaphysics. His Holiness passed the examination with honors.

In 1950, when He was only 16, He was called upon to assume full political power when Tibet was threatened by the might of China. In 1954, His Holiness went to Peking to talk peace with Mao Tsetung and other Chinese leaders including Chou En-lai and Deng Xiaoping. In 1956, His Holiness visited India to attend the 2500th Buddha Jayanti Anniversary. While in India, His Holiness had a series of meetings with Prime Minister Nehru and Premier Chou En-lai about deteriorating conditions in Tibet.

In 1959, His Holiness was forced into exile in India after the Chinese military occupation of Tibet. Since that time, His Holiness has been residing in Dharamsala, North India. The seat of the Tibetan Government in exile.

While in exile, His Holiness appealed to the United Nations on the guestion of Tibet, resulting in three resolutions being adopted by the General Assembly in 1959, 1961 and 1965. His Holiness has set up educational, cultural and religious institutions which have contributed significantly towards the preservation of the Tibetan identity and its rich heritage. In 1963, His Holiness promulgated a draft constitution of Tibet which assures a democratic form of government.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama has been working tirelessly for the Tibetan Nation ever since his been in exile since 1959 and try to find a peaceful solution with China over the status of Tibet.

In a landmark address to the United States Congressional Human Rights Caucus, delivered in Washington DC, on September 21st 1987. His Holiness offered Five Point Peace Plan for Tibet, in order to open a dialogue with Beijing.

On June 15th 1988 His Holiness the Dalai Lama elaborated on his earlier Five Point Peace

Plan for Tibet in an address to the European Parliament in Strasbourg. This is to be known as The Strasbourg Proposal. There was no response to the proposals herein from Beijing and commitment to them was withdrawn on September 2nd. 1991.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his tireless work for Tibet. In awarding its 1989 Nobel Peace Prize to His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the Norwegian Nobel Committee cited his consistent opposition to violence and "forward looking proposal for the solution of international conflicts, human rights issue and global environment problems". His Holiness accepted the Prize in Oslo on 10th December 1989

Unlike his predecessors, His Holiness has traveled to North and South America, Czechoslovakia, Europe, the United Kingdom, Japan, Thailand, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Russia, Mongolia, Taiwan and met with Political and religious leaders of these countries. In fact there are not many places that His Holiness the Dalai Lama has not been.

During his travels abroad, His Holiness has spoken strongly for better understanding and respect among the different faiths of the world. Towards this end, His Holiness has made numerous appearances in interfaith services, imparting the message of universal responsibility, love, compassion and kindness. "The need for simple human to human relationship is becoming increasingly urgent.... Today the world is smaller and more interdependent. One nation's problems can no longer be solved by itself completely. Thus, without a sense of universal responsibility, our very survival becomes threatened. Basically, universal responsibility is feeling for other people's suffering just as we feel our own. It is the realization that even our enemy is entirely motivated by the guest for happiness. We must recognize that all beings want the same thing that we want. This is the way to achieve a true understanding, unfettered by artificial consideration".

Although the Chinese Government still refuses to Dialogue with His Holiness and His Representatives. His Holiness has always stated that the door to Dailogue with China is still open and to that end His Holiness hopes that the UN or some friendly Government will be able to persuade the Chinese Government in to a Dailogue with His Holiness and His Representative to find a Peaceful Solution for Tibet without any preconditions.

 

List of Major Awards and Honourary Conferments Received by His Hoiliness the Dalai Lama (Updated up to June 2000)

1957 Doctor of Letters Benaras Hindu University India

1959 Ramon Magaysay Award for Community Leadership Ramon Magaysay Committee Philippines

1959 The Admiral Richard E. Byrd Memorial International Rescue Committee USA

1969 Lincoln Award Research Institute of America USA Lakett Award Norwegian Refugee Council Norway

1979 Special Medal Asian Buddhist Council for Peace Mongolia

1979 Doctor of Divinity Carol College, Waukesh USA

1979 Doctor of Buddhist Philosophy University of Oriental Studies USA

1979 Doctor of Humanities The Seattle University, Seattle USA

1979 Liberty Torch Gilbert Di Luchia Friends of Tibet USA

1984 Doctor Degree University of Paris France

1987 Albert Schweitzer Humanitarian Award Human Behavior Foundation USA

1988 Deopold Lucas Award West Germany

1989 Raoul Wallenberg Congressional Human Rights Award Human Rights Foundation USA

1989 Recognition of Perseverance of Times Of Adversity World Management Council USA

1989 Le Prixa De Lamemboire Foundation Danielle Mitterrand France

1989 The Nobel Peace Prize Norwegian Nobel Committee Norway

1990 Doctor of Divinity Central Institute for Higher Tibetan Studies, Sarnath India

1990 Doctor Honoris Causa Karnatak University India

1991 Distinguished Peace Leadership Award 91 Nuclear Age Peace Foundation USA

1991 Shiromani Award 1991 Shiromani Institute, Delhi India

1991 Advancing Human Liberty Award Freedom House, New York USA

1991 Peace and Unity Award National Peace Conference, Delhi India

1991 United Earth Prize Klaus Nobel United Earth, New York USA

1991 Wheel of Life Award Temple of Understanding, New York USA

1992 Doctor of Sacred Philosophy Lafayette University, Aurora USA

1992 Shiromani Award Shiromani Institute, New Delhi India

1992 Doctor of Laws University of Melbourne, Melbourne Australia

1992 Doctor Honoris Causa University of Rio de Janeiro, Rio Brazil

1992 Honorary Professor Kalmyk State University, Kalmykia Russian Federation

1992 Honorary Professor Novosibirsk State University, Buriat Russian Federation

1993 International Valiant for Freedom Award The Freedom Coalition, Melbourne Australia

1994 Fellow of University Hebrew University, Jerusalem Israel

1994 Doctor of Humane Letters Berea College, Berea USA

1994 Doctor of Humane Arts & Letters Columbia University, New York USA

1994 World Security Annual Peace Award New York Lawyer's Alliance USA

1994 Franklin D. Roosevelt Freedom Medal Franklin & Eleanor Roosevelt Institute USA

1995 Doctor of Letters Nagpur University, Nagpur India

1995 Doctor of Buddhist Philosophy Rissho University, Tokyo Japan

1996 The President's Medal for Excellence Indiana University, Bloomington USA

1997 Paulos Mar Gregorious Award Paulos Mar Gregorious Committee India

1997 Doctor Honoris Causa Chu San University, Kaohsiung Taiwan

1997 Doctor of Social Sciences National Sun Yat-sen University, Kaohsiung Taiwan

1997 Doctor Honoris Causa University of Colorado, Boulder USA

1997 Doctor Honoris Causa Regis University, Denver USA

1997 Doctor of International Diplomatic Science University of Trieste, Trieste Italy

1998 Juliet Hollister Award Juliet Hollister Foundation, New York USA

1998 Doctor of Humane Letters Brandeis University, Boston USA

1998 Doctor of Divinity Emory University, Atlanta USA

1998 Doctor of Laws University of Wisconsin, Madison USA

1998 Doctor Honoris Causa Seton Hill College, Greensburg USA

1999 Doctor Honoris Causa University of Brasilia, Brasilia Brazil

1999 Doctor Honoris Causa University of Buenos Aires Argentina

1999 Doctor of Theology Florida International University USA

1999 Bodhi Award American Buddhist Congress USA

1999 Life Time Achievement Award Hadassah Women's Zionist Organization of America Israel

1999 Diwaliben Mohanlal Mehta Award for Diwaliben Mohanlal Mehta International Peace & Harmony Charitable Trust India

2000 Doctor Honoris Causa Comenius University, Bratislava Slovakia

2001 Ecce Homo Order Kancelaria Kapituly Orderu Poland

2001 Doctor Honoris Causa University Lusiada Porto Portugal

2001 Doctor Honoris Causa University of Tromso Norway

His Holiness The Dalai Lama

Biography
Discovery of His Holiness
Dignitaries His Holiness the Dalai Lama has Met
Major Awards conferred on His Holiness the Dalai Lama
Countries visited by His Holiness the Dalai Lama
Books authored by His Holiness the Dalai Lama
Words of Truth
Nobel Peace Prize Citation
Prayer for the Long Life of His Holiness the Dalai Lama
Prayer for the Long Life of His Holiness the Dalai Lama - English Translation
Nobel Peace Prize Acceptance speech by His Holiness The Dalai Lama of Tibet, Oslo, 10 December 1989
The Nobel Lecture by Holiness The Dalai Lama of Tibet, Oslo, December 11th, 1989
Remarks to the Members of the United States Congress - 18 April 1991
Address to the Members of the United States Congress in the Rotunda of the Capital Hill - 18 April 1991
Human Rights and Universal Responsibility - 15 June 1993
Speech given at the Non-Governmental Organizations, The United Nations World Conference on Human Rights, Vienna, Austria
Address to the Lithuanian Parliament - 1 October 1991
The Statement of His Holiness the Dalai Lama on the 33rd Anniversary of Tibetan National Uprising Day on 10 March 1992
The Statement of His Holiness the Dalai Lama on the 34rd Anniversary of Tibetan National Uprising Day on 10 March 1993
The Statement of His Holiness the Dalai Lama on the 35rd Anniversary of Tibetan National Uprising Day on 10 March 1994
The Statement of His Holiness the Dalai Lama on the 36rd Anniversary of Tibetan National Uprising Day on 10 March 1995
The Statement of His Holiness the Dalai Lama on the 37rd Anniversary of Tibetan National Uprising Day on 10 March 1996
The Statement of His Holiness the Dalai Lama on the 38rd Anniversary of Tibetan National Uprising Day on 10 March 1997
The Statement of His Holiness the Dalai Lama on the 39rd Anniversary of Tibetan National Uprising Day on 10 March 1998
The Statement of His Holiness the Dalai Lama on the 40th Anniversary of Tibetan National Uprising Day on 10 March 1999
The Statement of His Holiness the Dalai Lama on the 41st Anniversary of Tibetan National Uprising Day on 10 March 2000
Speech to the Chinese Students and Scholars, Boston - 9 September 1995
Hearing on Tibet by The Foreign Affairs Committee Bundestag (German Parliament) - 19 June 1995
Statement at the Smithsonian Institution's Sackler Gallery, Washington, D.C. September 2, 1995
Message on the Tiananmen Square Massacre's 6th Anniversary - 4 June 1995
Statement by His Holiness the XIV Dalai Lama on His Visit to the United States, September 1995
Statement by His Holiness the Dalal Lama to the Foreign Affairs committee of the Folkletingets Udenrigsudvalg, Denmark - Hearing on Tibet - Copenhagen, May 13, 1996
Address at the "Forum 2000" Conference, Prague
Dalai's reincarnation will not be found under Chinese control

THE TIBETAN NATIONAL FLAG

 

The Tibetan National Flag was adopted in 1912 promulgated in 1918~ and is intimately connected with the authentic history and royal lineages of Tibet which are thousands of years old. Furthermore, in the Tibetan Royal year 820, or in the 7th Century of the Christian era, at the time of the Tibetan religious King, Song-tsen Gampo the Great, extensive land of Tibet was divided into large and small districts.

From these large and small districts, an army of 2,860,000 men was chosen and stationed along the borders of Tibet, and the subjects thus lived in safety. The bravery and heroism of the Tibetan people at that time in conquering and ruling even the adjacent empire of China is well known in world history.

During the rule of His Holiness the Great Thirteenth Dalai Lama, this eminent spiritual and temporal ruler of Tibet enacted many modifications in administrative policies in accordance with international customs. Based on the formats of previous Tibetan military flags, His Holiness improved upon them and designed the present modern national flag. With an official proclamation, he declared that it would be the uniform, standard flag to be adopted by all Tibetan military defense establishments. Since the time of that proclamation, all Tibetan regiments have likewise adopted this flag as their standard. The colour scheme of the Tibetan National flag gives a clear indication of all aspects of Tibet in its symbolism such as the geographic features of the religious, snowy land of Tibet, the customs and traditions of Tibetan society and the political administration of the Tibetan government History attests to the fact that Tibet is one of the most ancient nations of the world. Therefore, in all the three regions of Tibet, irrespective of casts and creed, this national flag inherited from ancestors is universally accepted as a common peerless treasure and even today still continues to be highly respected and esteemed as in the past.

THE SYMBOLISM OF THE FLAG

The glorious, naturally beautiful snow mountain in the centre symbolises the land of the great nation of Tibet which is well known as the country surrounded by snow mountains.

The six red rays of light emanating in the sky symbolise the six original peoples of Tibet; the Se, Mu, Dong, Tong, Dru and Ra, who are known as the six tribes.

 

The alternating red colour of the peoples and the dark blue colour of the sky symbolise the unrelentless accomplishments of the virtuous conduct to guard and protect the spiritual and secular rule enacted by the two protector-deities, one red and one black.

The light rays emanating extensively from the sun rising over the peak of the snow mountain symbolise all the people of Tibet's equal enjoyment of the light of freedom, spiritual and material happiness and prosperity.

The valiant stance of a pair of fearless snow lions glowing with five prominent features on their faces symbolises the complete victory over all by the deeds of the combined spiritual and secular ruling governments.

The three-coloured jewels above, beautiful and radiant with light symbolises all the Tibetan people's continually revering the three Precious Gems; the objects of Refuge.

The holding of the two-coloured jewels of bliss swirls by t h e two snow lions symbolises the observance of self morality in accordance with the exalted traditions which are presented principally by the ten divine virtuous actions and the sixteen human moral rules.

The adornment with a yellow border symbolises the flourishing and increase of the Buddha's teachings which are like pure, refined gold through-out limitless directions and time.

Snow Lions are purely mythological creatures. However, there is information to be found in Tibet that these animals did exist in the snow mountains of the Himalayas, many thousands of years ago. There is no available evidence to prove that this was so. The Tibetan name of the Snow Lions is "Seng-Kyi". The little Lhasa Apso dogs are also called by this name because of the resemblance between Lhasa Apso and the Snow Lions.

MORE TIBET SITES

There are many web sites on Tibet produced by various Tibet Support Groups. Below are some of the sites you can look at, well add more as we know them, so please check these sites for information on Tibet.

(It is worth noting that there are also web sites on the WWW that have been produced by pro-China groups, often these sites give a less-than-truthful picture of the situation in Tibet. Beware of these 'propaganda sites'. The sites listed below are 'safe' sites)

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