The Dalai Lama. The First Dalai Lama. Gedun Drupa, was born in 1391 in central Tibet His parents were Gonpo Dorjee and Jomo Namkha Kyi His given name was Pema Dorjee He founded theTashi Lhunpo monastery Wrote more than 8 books Spread Buddhism throughout Tibet.
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Lhamo Thondup was declared the new Dalai Lama in 1939. He was taken to Lhasa, the capital of Tibet, in 1940, where his name was changed to Jamphel Ngawang Lobsang Yeshe Tenzin Gyatso and he began his spiritual education.
In this photograph, the young Tenzin Gyatso poses with his mother. The Dalai Lama's parents had 16 children, 9 of whom survived. His brother Thupten Jigme Norbu is also recognized as the High Lama Taktser Rinpoche.
During the 1950s, the new Communist government of China gradually took control of Tibet. Their refusal to respect the sanctity and authority of the Dalai Lama led to a resistance which was crushed by the Chinese army, forcing TenzinGyatso and his followers to flee across the Himalayas, where this photo was taken, to India.
By 1959, the Chinese assumed complete authority over Tibet. In this photograph, Chinese soldiers block the border with India, part of a failed effort to stop the Dalai Lama's escape.
Since his exile to India, Tenzin Gyatso has labored to draw attention to the Chinese occupation of Tibet and bring the message of Tibetan Buddhism to the rest of the world.
At a 1986 prayer for peace organized by the Vatican in Assisi, the Dalai Lama joins from left: The Archbishop of Canterbury Robert Runcie, Orthodox Archbishop Methodius and Pope John Paul II.
Every year, thousands travel to India to pay their respects to His Holiness. At the core of the Dalai Lama's political message is the belief that global peace cannot begin until each person has attained inner peace.
According to White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, the President "stated his strong support for the preservation of Tibet's unique religious, cultural and linguistic identity and the protection of human rights for Tibetans in the People's Republic of China." China strenuously objected to the meeting.