The 14th Dalai Lama, the current spiritual leader of Tibet and a Nobel Prize winner for peace was born under the name of Lhamo Dondrub, in a peasant family, on 6 July 1935, in a former region of Tibet, assimilated to the Chinese territory.
From a very young age, his spiritual path had already been set, for, when he was merely two years old, he was named the reincarnation of the 13th Dalai Lama, according to the Tibetan tradition.
Omens and visions directed the Tibetan search party to the small home of Lhamo, where the small child identified all the objects belonging to the former Dalai Lama as being his and thus, became his future Holiness, The Wish-fulfilling Gem or the Presence, as he is referred to by Tibetans.
The Dalai Lama means Ocean of Wisdom and is the embodiment of Bodhisattva of Compassion, his role being to serve people and to bring them spiritual enlightenment. Although believed to be invested by a superior entity and power, The Dalai Lama underwent years of training and learning before he took over all the responsibilities.
At the age of 24, he took all his examinations in logic, notions about the Buddhist concept of Middle Path and metaphysics with honors and he completed his studies with a Doctorate in Buddhist Philosophy one year later.
Unlike his predecessors, the 14th Dalai Lama has always been a militant and has continuously fought for freedom on the international scene. At only 16, he assumed the entire political power of Tibet and represented the state in its conflicts with China.
In 1954, he visited Mao Tse-Tung, the Chinese leader, to discuss the relationship between the two states and the Chinese constitution, and he was also elected as chairman of The Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress.
In 1959, Tibet was occupied by the Chinese military forces and the Dalai Lama was forced into exile in India. During his exile, he addressed the United Nations regarding the Tibetans’ rights and succeeded in obtaining three resolutions in 1959, 1961 and 1965, which forced China to respect the human rights of the Tibetans. He managed to reform the entire administrative system in Tibet and promulgated a democratic constitution in 1963 and also created the parliament and administration.
The 14th Dalai Lama focused on cultural and spiritual values in his country. Therefore, he created institutions meant to maintain Tibet’s cultural and religious heritage. Although, the spiritual leader is forever committed to his beliefs and values, he often travelled in Western Europe, The United States, Canada, The United Kingdom, Japan, Singapore and many other countries as well, where he met with other spiritual leaders and he talked about the need of understanding among people of all races and faiths and about the universal nature of love, peace and compassion that should be central creeds in the world.
Since his first visit abroad, in 1970, the Dalai Lama became a symbol of peace and Universalist perception, winning, in 1989 the Nobel Peace Prize. To this day, he has not ceased his activity and he still is a unique figure in the leadership of peace and freedom.