The XIV Dalai Lama

The Dalai Lama is the head of state and spiritual leader of the Tibetan people. He was born July 6, 1935 in Tibet to a peasant family. At the age of 2 he was deemed to be the reincarnation of the Buddha of Compassion, come back to serve his people. In 1940 he was enthroned. China invaded Tibet in 1950. In 1959 there was a massive protest in Tibet that was brutally crushed. The Dalai Lama escaped to India, and there are now 120,000 Tibetans in exile. He endorses a democratic constitution and the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights. The Dalai Lama has always advocated tolerance and mutual respect as a basis for liberating Tibet, in spite of the atrocities and repression that have occurred there. He denies that he is anyone very special: "I am just a simple Buddhist monk—no more, no less." He also stated: "I have always believed that it is much better to have a variety of religions, a variety of philosophies, rather than one single religion or philosophy. This is necessary because of the different mental dispositions of each human being. Each religion has certain unique ideas or techniques, and learning about them can only enrich one’s own faith." In earlier years he used to practice vegetarianism except when offered meat on diplomatic visits, but he is now a committed vegetarian. In 1989 he won the Nobel Peace Prize.

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For additional XIV Dalai Lama quotes, see Peace Quotes elsewhere on this website.

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