Who is the Dalai Lama?
His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet is both the spiritual leader and head of state of Tibet. The title "Dalai Lama" means "Ocean of Wisdom." Each Dalai Lama is believed to be the reincarnation of his predecessor, and all are considered earthly manifestations of the Bodhisattva of Compassion, an enlightened being that has chosen rebirth to serve humanity.
Selected to fulfill this destiny at the age of two, His Holiness was educated in the monastery system and holds the equivalent of a doctorate in Buddhist philosophy. In 1959, he and thousands of his followers were forced to flee Tibet as the result of China's military occupation of their homeland. Since 1960, His Holiness has lived in Dharamsala, India, heading the Tibetan government-in-exile. An unwavering proponent of non-violence, he is one of the world's most influential champions of peace. Among his many honors is the 1989 Nobel Peace Prize.