What happened when Buddha became a monk
Dalai Lama is a title that translates as 'ocean-like teacher' or 'ocean of wisdom'. That means: Whoever bears this title is a particularly clever man who has as much knowledge in his head as the ocean is water. Its main mission is to preserve the goals and values of Buddhism and to represent its religion around the world. At the same time, the Dalai Lama is also the political head of Tibet.
Buddhists believe in rebirth
The Dalai Lama is not elected. Buddhists believe that all humans and animals are born again after they die. And when a Dalai Lama dies, they think that he too will be reborn as a child. And this child will then become the next Dalai Lama. There were 13 others before the current Dalai Lama. Today's 14th Dalai Lama was born in Tibet, a country in Asia that used to be almost exclusively Buddhists. And that's where he was discovered - at least that's what a legend says.
The legend of the discovery of the 14th Dalai Lama
After the 13th Dalai Lama died, an important picture is said to have appeared to a Buddhist monk: In the water of a lake he saw a monastery with turquoise-gold roof tiles and a small child - the reborn 13th Dalai Lama. Then some monks went to look for the child. They traveled all over the country until they finally found the monastery with the colored bricks. And nearby they also found a little boy named Lhamo who looked exactly as the monk had seen him at the lake.
Lhamo inexplicably knew the names of the monks and knew where they came from, even though they had never met before. To be absolutely sure that the boy was really who they were looking for, the monks made a test with him: They mixed up the deceased Dalai Lama's things with other items and showed them to the boy. Lhamo pointed to the Dalai Lama's things without hesitation and the monks were certain: Lhamo was the reincarnation of the deceased Dalai Lama and thus his successor.
Lhamo becomes Tenzin Gyatso
In 1940, when Lhamo was four years old, he was officially named the 14th Dalai Lama. With that he became head of hundreds of thousands of Buddhists and at the same time the future king of Tibet. At that time it also got a new name: Jetsun Jamphel Ngawang Lobsang Yeshe Tenzin Gyatso. Usually only the short form Tenzin Gyatso is used.
Escape from his home country
When he was 15 years old, soldiers from neighboring China invaded Tibet. The situation became more and more threatening and the Dalai Lama was appointed King of Tibet earlier than planned - at the age of 16. He tried to make peace with the Chinese politicians. But he was unsuccessful. The conflict became so dangerous that the Dalai Lama fled Tibet at the age of 24. Since then he has lived in India. And from there he travels all over the world to stand up for the rights of Tibetans and to represent Buddhism.
Status: 02/18/2021, 6:54 p.m.
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