Gyatso, the fourteenth and current Dalai Lama, is the spiritual leader of the
Tibetan people and the head of state of the Tibetan government in exile. Born
Lhamo Dhondrub to a poor peasant family, he was recognized as the reincarnation
of the Dalai Lama when he was two years old. He was renamed Tenzin Gyatso, and
officially became the new Dalai Lama in 1940. In 1950, China invaded Tibet. Nine
years later he was forced into exile and has lived in Dharamsala, India ever since.
In the half-century of his exile, His Holiness the Dalai Lama has continued to
advocate for Tibet's freedom through nonviolent means, despite the aggression
his people have faced.
Dalai Lama's charismatic personality have won many to his cause of freedom for
his nation. His inspiring teachings about world peace, human rights, the environment,
responsibility, compassion, tolerance and better understanding between all peoples
and religions of the world have made him a symbol of spirituality and hope for
peace in our time. He has traveled to more than 60 countries, meeting with heads
of state, celebrities, scientists and stadium-sized crowds who come to hear his
words of wisdom. He has written more than 70 books and has received numerous awards
and honors including the Albert Schweitzer Award, the US Congressional Gold Medal
and the Nobel Peace Prize. Despite his international fame, he considers himself
to be "just a simple
Buddhist monk - no more nor less."