Dalai Lama is a title given to members of a prominent incarnation lineage within the Gelug school of Tibetan Buddhism. The successive Dalai Lama incarnations were the temporal leaders of the Tibetan state from 1642, during the time of the 5th Dalai Lama, until 1959, when the 14th Dalai Lama fled Tibet to escape the Chinese Communist occupation.
The current Dalai Lama, The 14th Dalai Lama Tenzin Gyatso, also led the Central Tibetan Administration (the government for the Tibetans in exile) from 1960 until 2011, at which time he retired from his temporal leadership role.
The current Dalai Lama continues in his role as a spiritual leader for the Tibetan people. He is also recognized as a spiritual teacher throughout the world. As an "engaged Buddhist" the Dalai Lama has an appeal straddling cultures and political systems making him one of the most recognized and respected moral voices today.
The title of "Dalai Lama" is taken from the name given by Altan Khan, the leader of the Tumed Mongols, to the 3rd Dalai Lama. "Dalai" is the Mongolian word for "ocean" or "big" And "Lama" (T. bla-ma) is the Tibetan for a "guru" or "teacher".
List of Dalai Lamas
There have been 14 recognized incarnations of the Dalai Lama in Tibet.
|Period in office|
|1st Dalai Lama||Gedun Drupa
|2nd Dalai Lama||Gedun Gyatso
|3rd Dalai Lama||Sonam Gyatso
|4th Dalai Lama||Yonten Gyatso
|5th Dalai Lama||Ngawang Lobsang Gyatso
|6th Dalai Lama||Tsangyang Gyatso
|7th Dalai Lama||Kelzang Gyatso
|8th Dalai Lama||Jamphel Gyatso
|9th Dalai Lama||Lungtok Gyatso
|10th Dalai Lama||Tsultrim Gyatso
|11th Dalai Lama||Khedrup Gyatso
|1842 - 1856|
|12th Dalai Lama||Trinley Gyatso
|1860 - 1875|
|13th Dalai Lama||Thubten Gyatso
|1879 - 1933|
|14th Dalai Lama||Tenzin Gyatso
|1950 - present|
- Schaik, Sam van. Tibet: A History. Yale University Press 2011, page 129, "Gelug: the newest of the schools of Tibetan Buddhism"
- Buswell & Lopez 2014, s.v. Dalai Lama
- Puri, Bharati (2006) "Engaged Buddhism – The Dalai Lama's Worldview" New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2006
- Laird 2006, p. 143.
- Deriving from the Mongolian title Dalaiyin qan or Dalaiin khan; see Schwieger (2014), p.33
- "Dalai lama". Dictionary.com. Retrieved 2014-03-12.
(formerly) the ruler and chief monk of Tibet, believed to be a reincarnation of Avalokitesvara and sought for among newborn children after the death of the preceding Dalai Lama
- "Definition of Dalai Lama in English". Oxford Dictionaries. Retrieved 2 May 2015.
The spiritual head of Tibetan Buddhism and, until the establishment of Chinese communist rule, the spiritual and temporal ruler of Tibet. Each Dalai Lama is believed to be the reincarnation of the bodhisattva Avalokitesvara, reappearing in a child when the incumbent Dalai Lama dies
- Peter Popham (29 January 2015). "Relentless: The Dalai Lama's Heart of Steel". Newsweek magazine.
His mystical legitimacy – of huge importance to the faithful – stems from the belief that the Dalai Lamas are manifestations of Avalokiteshvara, the Bodhisattva of Compassion
- Laird 2006, p. 12.
- Buswell, Robert E.; Lopez, Donald S. Jr., eds. (2014). Princeton Dictionary of Buddhism. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. ISBN 978-0-691-15786-3.
- Laird, Thomas (2006). The Story of Tibet : Conversations with the Dalai Lama (1st ed.). New York: Grove Press. ISBN 978-0-8021-1827-1.
- Van Schaik, Sam (2011), Tibet. A History. New Haven & London: Yale University Press.
- Schwieger, Peter (2014), The Dalai Lama and the Emperor of China: a political history of the Tibetan institution of reincarnation, New York: Columbia University Press, ISBN 978-0-231-53860-2
- Dalai Lama. (1991) Freedom in Exile: The Autobiography of the Dalai Lama. San Francisco, CA.
- Goodman, Michael H. (1986). The Last Dalai Lama. Shambhala Publications. Boston, MA.
- Karmay, Samten G. (Translator) (1988). Secret visions of the Fifth Dalai Lama. Serindia Publications, London. ISBN 0 906026 20 2.