Six interesting facts about the Dalai Lama
Here are six interesting facts about the Dalai Lama you can share with your pupils:
- The Dalai Lama is the spiritual leader of Tibet.
- He has a wide variety of hobbies. Some of his favorites include meditating, gardening, and repairing watches.
- There have been fourteen Dalai Lamas since the 14th Century.
- For most of the existence of the Dalai Lama, they were the political leaders of Tibet as well.
- The current Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, is the longest incarnation to hold the position.
- The Dalai Lama has been an inspirational figure for people across the world.
What is some Dalai Lama quotes?
- “Give the ones you love wings to fly, roots to come back, and reasons to stay.”
- “Compassion and tolerance are not a sign of weakness, but a sign of strength.”
- “Don’t let the behavior of others destroy your inner peace.”
- “If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion”.
- “If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito.”
Who is the Dalai Lama?
This Dalai Lama Biography in English looks at some key parts of His Holiness’s life. It’s a useful overview for kids and adults alike. So firstly, who is the Dalai Lama?
The Dalai Lama is the title given to the highest spiritual leader chosen by the Tibetan People. Known simply as ‘His Holiness, The Dalai Lama is a figurehead of Tibetan Buddhism.
In some cases, the role of the Dalai Lama is similar to the Pope or a King or Queen. Some successive people have taken the position of Dalai Lama. The role was first created in 1391, more than 600 years ago. Those given the title of Dalai Lama are believed to be incarnations of a spiritual being called Avalokiteśvara. It means that while there have different physical embodiments of the Dalai Lama, it is believed by Tibetan Buddhists that they are essentially versions of the same deity. Below you’ll find a handy Dalai Lama biography in English and useful tips for teaching this topic.
Who was the first Dalai Lama?
The first Dalai Lama was Gendün Drubpa, who lived from 1391 to 1474. He was born into humble origins in the Tsang region of Tibet. He was known to have a very kind and gentle nature. He became a monk and founded the Tashi Lhunpo Monastery, which became the main residence for future Dalai Lamas. Despite becoming frailer as he got older, he continued to travel and teach positive messages to people around Tibet. One time he returned and announced to the other monks that he would die soon. After that, he did one final meditation, where he passed away.
Because of Gendün Drubpa’s actions throughout his life, he was recognized as a god of compassion. And since his death, 13 Dalai Lamas have continued his mission.
What does ‘Dalai Lama’ Mean?
‘Dalai’ comes from the Mongolian word ‘ocean,’ while the word ‘Lama’ is similar to the Sanskrit work ‘guru.’ So together, Dalai Lama means ‘ocean wisdom’ – a teacher with knowledge as deep as the ocean.
How is the Dalai Lama found?
The way the next incarnation of the Dalai Lama is found is fascinating! Tibetan Buddhists believe in ‘Phowa’ – this is how someone’s mind is transferred to somebody else at their time of death. From this perspective, someone’s knowledge and personality don’t disappear, even though the physical body changes.
The result is that Tibetan Buddhists believe that the Dalai Lama’s spirit continues through another person. It is fascinating because it doesn’t mean that the next Dalai Lama is decided through biological lineages, like with a King or Queen. They are also not elected, like political leaders.
As soon as the Dalai Lama dies, Tibetan monks look to find the child that has taken on their consciousness. However, it may take a long time. This child is seen in a variety of ways. First, the most experienced monks may receive visions to find out where the next Dalai Lama is found. It is a tradition for monks to meditate in Lhamo La-Tso, a large lake in the center of Tibet. If the previous Dalai Lama were cremated, the monks would observe the direction of the smoke to see where the reincarnation may be. Otherwise, monks may receive a message in their dreams that will help inform them about who the next person shall be.
Generally, the child they believe to be the next Dalai Lama displays a remarkable intellectual and spiritual ability beyond their age. Once this person is found, they are subjected to lots of tests by the monks to ensure it is the right person. A lot of these tests are kept secret. However, one known test is to present a variety of items to the child and see which belongs to the previous Dalai Lama. Once correctly found, the child is given intense religious training and education to help them relearn what they knew in their last incarnation.
The Dalai Lama was found in Tibet and made for the previous incarnations. However, the current Dalai Lama has suggested that the next image could be found somewhere else and be female.
The role of the Dalai Lama
Who is the Dalai Lama? The Dalai Lama is a very influential person. He has been very inspirational in his message of compassion and kindness. It is particularly important for the Tibetan people but has also spread worldwide recently. According to his website, the Dalai Lama is responsible for the “cultivation of warm-heartedness and human values such as compassion, forgiveness, tolerance, contentment, and self-discipline.”
Not only this, but the Dalai Lama is also traditionally the political leader of Tibet. It means he would represent the country in foreign matters and control the government. It would be similar to a prime minister or president in many cases.
Through his position, the Dalai Lama promotes the principles of Tibetan Buddhism and advocates preserving the Tibetan language and culture. The current Dalai Lama is the first incarnation to have traveled outside Tibet, and his warm nature and beliefs have helped bring many supporters to his faith. He has written many books and continues to travel the world, speaking to many people.
What are the principles of Tibetan Buddhism?
If you want to know who the Dalai Lama is, it is important to learn more about his religion! Buddhism began to exist in Tibet in the 9th century. It was an extremely significant part of their life – and it is believed that one in six Tibetan men were monks at its peak.
Buddhism is a very rich and varied religion. There are different practices and denominations from country to country. Tibetan Buddhism is known for its ‘shamanism’ – a belief that those who devoutly practice it can interact with the spirit world. It can occur through sightings, dreams, and visions, among others. In addition, there is a strong belief in
As with other strands of Buddhism, Tibetan Buddhism follows a certain amount of traditions and values. These include performing yoga, mindfulness, and meditation.
The 14th Dalai Lama Biography
Since 1940, the Dalai Lama has been Tenzin Gyatso. He was born into a small farming family. It took four years for the Tibetan monks to find him. Many things influenced their search to find him: a notable one was that the head of the 13th Dalai Lama turned from southeast to northeast. It was seen to show the direction of where he would be found. One monk saw a vision of a monastery with a turquoise roof and a little house nearby. Eventually, they found the location of that house, and this was where he was found.
Since 1959, the Dalai Lama has been living in exile in India after being forced to leave Tibet. While this was very unfortunate to him and his people, it has allowed him to promote Tibetan culture and beliefs worldwide.
While he is a religious leader, he is also very influential in philosophy, science, and diplomacy. His beliefs and actions have displayed a way of living a happy life; practices, such as meditation and mindfulness, have been shown to have great psychological benefits; and his advocation of non-violence has been well regarded.
With these efforts, the Dalai Lama has repeatedly been seen as one of the world’s most popular religious and political leaders.
Due to his non-violent measures to protect the people of Tibet, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989.
What are the five beliefs of the Dalai Lama?
While learning about whom the Dalai Lama is, it would be great to teach your class five of his beliefs:
These are certainly valuable beliefs to have in life and the classroom!
Five Fun Facts About the Dalai Lama
Share these amazing facts about the Dalai Lama with your pupils:
- Did you know that the 14th Dalai Lama has also released an album? ‘Inner World’ was released in July 2020, on His Holiness’s 85th birthday, and consists of prayers, instrumental music, and music for meditation.
- He has many hobbies that make him more personable than you might expect. These include gardening and watchmaking.
- The current Dalai Lama is very interested in science and how it can work with religion. It includes a fascination with ecology and the preservation of the planet.
- He also believes that if he hadn’t become a monk, he would have become an engineer. It comes from his early love of machinery. As a teenager, he fixed a film projector alone, with no additional help!
- There may not be another Dalai Lama. The current focus of this role is based on democratic governments and working together, which is why the Dalai Lama has retired from his political position. In the future, there may not be a need for a figurehead like this.