The Dalai Lama
As the Spiritual Leader of Tibetan Buddhism, the Dalai Lama is considered to be the reincarnation of the “Buddha of Compassion”. And Inner-Peace is at the very heart of his teachings.
“We can never obtain peace in the outer world until we make peace with ourselves” Dalai Lama
With millions of devoted followers inside Tibet, India and the West he is recognised as one of the most influential people on the planet, as well as probably the greatest living advocate for peace.
In Tibetan Buddhism, Dalai Lamas are believed to be manifestations of Avalokiteshvara or Chenrezig, the Bodhisattva of Compassion. Bodhisattvas are reported to be enlightened beings who have chosen to take rebirth in order to serve humanity.
Named ‘Lhamo Thondup’ at birth, which literally means ‘Wish-Fulfilling Goddess’, the current Dalai Lama was born on 6th July 1935 in a small village in the province of Amdo in northeastern Tibet. One of six children, his family were nomadic famers who made a precarious living off the land.
Lhamo Thondup’s life changed forever when, at the age of three, he was identified by a search party of Buddhist officials as the reincarnation of the 13th Dalai Lama, the latest in a line stretching back to 1391.
‘In November 1950, still only 15 years old, the Dalai Lama was enthroned as Tibet’s temporal leader in a ceremony in Lhasa. Following China’s claim to sovereignty over Tibet in March 1959, The Dalai Lama fled disguised as a common soldier. Escaping over the Himalayas into exile in India, he was granted asylum and set up Tibet’s government in exile in the Indian hill station of Dharamsala.
During his travels abroad, the Dalai Lama has avidly imparts his message of Universal Responsibility, Love, Compassion and Kindness:
“The need for simple human-to-human relationships is becoming increasingly urgent,” he has expressed. “Today the world is smaller and more interdependent. One nation’s problems can no longer be solved by itself completely. Thus, without a sense of Universal Responsibility, our very survival becomes threatened. Basically, Universal Responsibility is feeling for other people’s suffering just as we feel our own. It is the realisation that even our enemy is entirely motivated by the quest for happiness. We must recognise that all beings want the same thing that we want. This is the way to achieve a true understanding, unfettered by artificial consideration.”
Now in his 80th year, the Dalai Lama continues to keep the Tibetan cause alive, meeting with world leaders, despite protests from the Chinese government. As he grows older, there are concerns that the new generation of young Tibetan exiles, angered by Chinese government actions in Tibet, including the suppression of anti-Chinese riots, might use other tactics, including violence.
Audiences watching Road to Peace experience the Dalai Lama in his everyday life. Through interview and simply witnessing him behind the scenes on a UK visit, we experience his peaceful nature and learn directly from the Dalai Lama how we can create more peaceful lives.