Dalai Lama Biography: Wiki, Age, Date Of Birth, Religion, Career, Personal Life, Buddhism, Awards, Achievements & More

Dalai Lama Biography

The Dalai Lama is the title given by the Tibetan people to the foremost spiritual leader of the Gelug or “Yellow Hat” school of Tibetan Buddhism. The current and 14th Dalai Lama is Tenzin Gyatso, who was born in 1935 and lives in exile in India.

He is widely respected as a champion of peace, compassion, and human rights. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989 for his nonviolent struggle for the liberation of Tibet. He is also the author of many books on Buddhism and spirituality.

Dalai Lama Early Life and Education

Dalai Lama was born on July 6, 1935, to a farming family in Taktser, Amdo, northeastern Tibet. His birth name was Lhamo Dhondup.

He was identified as the 14th Dalai Lama in 1937, when he was two years old, by a search party of Tibetan monks who followed various signs and omens. He was renamed Tenzin Gyatso.

He was enthroned in 1940, when he was five years old, at the Potala Palace in Lhasa, the capital of Tibet. He assumed full political power in 1950, when he was 15 years old, after China’s invasion of Tibet.


He received an extensive education, starting from the age of six, in the Nalanda tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. He studied logic, fine arts, Sanskrit, medicine, and Buddhist philosophy, which was divided into five major and five minor subjects.

He earned a degree equivalent to a doctorate in Buddhist philosophy in 1959, when he was 23 years old, after passing his final examination with honors at the Jokhang Temple in Lhasa.

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Dalai Lama Career

The Dalai Lama’s career can be divided into three main phases: his role as the spiritual and political leader of Tibet before and during the Chinese invasion, his efforts to preserve and promote Tibetan culture and religion in exile, and his global advocacy for peace, human rights, and interfaith dialogue.

Before and during the Chinese invasion (1935-1959): He was recognized as the reincarnation of the 13th Dalai Lama at the age of two, and enthroned as the 14th Dalai Lama at the age of five. He received a rigorous education in Buddhist philosophy and other subjects, and earned a doctorate degree in 1959. He assumed full political power in 1950, when he was 15, after China’s invasion of Tibet. He tried to negotiate with the Chinese leaders, including Mao Zedong, but failed to reach a satisfactory agreement. He fled to India in 1959, after a violent uprising in Lhasa was crushed by the Chinese army.


In exile (1959-present): He established the Central Tibetan Administration in Dharamsala, India, and drafted a democratic constitution for Tibet. He appealed to the United Nations and other countries to support the Tibetan cause. He initiated various projects to preserve and revitalize Tibetan culture, religion, education, and health care. He also encouraged dialogue and cooperation among different Buddhist traditions and other religions. He received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989, and many other awards and honors, for his nonviolent struggle for the liberation of Tibet and his promotion of universal compassion and harmony.

As a global figure (1970s-present): He traveled extensively around the world, meeting with various political, religious, and social leaders, as well as ordinary people. He gave public talks, teachings, and interviews on various topics, such as ethics, happiness, science, ecology, and interfaith dialogue. He also participated in many scientific and academic conferences and dialogues, exploring the connections between Buddhism and modern science. He advocated for a more humane and peaceful world, and called for a global ethic of responsibility and compassion. He also expressed his support for democracy, human rights, environmental protection, and social justice.

Dalai Lama Personal Life

The Dalai Lama’s personal life is shaped by his Buddhist faith and his role as a spiritual leader. He has never married or had children, and he lives as a celibate monk. He follows a simple and disciplined lifestyle, waking up at 3 am every day for meditation and prayers. He also enjoys reading, writing, gardening, and playing music. He is fond of animals, especially cats, and has adopted several stray cats as his companions He is also known for his sense of humor and his love of laughter.

He has many friends and admirers around the world, including celebrities, politicians, and religious leaders. He has met with various influential figures, such as Nelson Mandela, Barack Obama, Pope Francis, and Richard Gere. He also maintains a close relationship with his family, especially his younger brother, Tenzin Choegyal, who often accompanies him on his travels.

Dalai Lama Net Worth

Dalai Lama has an estimated net worth of $500,000 as of 2023.

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