His Holiness The Dalai Lama
In His Holiness issued guidelines for the constitution of a future, free Tibet. On that day His Holiness would transfer all his historical and political authority to the Interim President and live as an ordinary citizen. His Holiness also stated that he hoped that Tibet, comprising of the three traditional provinces of U-Tsang, Amdo and Kham, would be federal and democratic. In May , the reforms called for by His Holiness saw the realisation of a truly democratic administration in exile for the Tibetan community.
In the same year, exile Tibetans on the Indian sub-continent and in more than 33 other countries elected 46 members to the expanded Eleventh Tibetan Assembly on a one-man one-vote basis. The Assembly, in its turn, elected the new members of the cabinet. In September , a further major step in democratisation was taken when the Tibetan electorate directly elected the Kalon Tripa, the senior-most minister of the Cabinet. The Kalon Tripa in turn appointed his own cabinet who had to be approved by the Tibetan Assembly.
In March 10, , His Holiness spoke of his devolvement from the political leadership and stressed that the time has reaped for the new political leader.
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Subsequently, In March 14, His Holiness explicated in details on his plan of devolving the political leadership in his message to the Tibetan Parliament Assembly. Draft Amendments to the Charter of Tibetans were prepared and were put to deliberation in the national general meeting of Tibetans held in Dharamsala in May Based on the recommendations of the general meeting, the Tibetan Parliament convened an additional session from 25 — 28 May to give its final approval to amend the Charter.
In May 29, , His Holiness the Dalai Lama rectified the amendment to the Charters of Tibetans where all the powers are amended and divided among the elected leadership.
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He envisaged that Tibet would become a sanctuary; a zone of peace at the heart of Asia, where all sentient beings can exist in harmony and the delicate environment can be preserved. China has so far failed to respond positively to the various peace proposals put forward by His Holiness. In his address to members of the European Parliament in Strasbourg on 15 June , His Holiness made another detailed proposal elaborating on the last point of the Five Point Peace Plan. He proposed talks between the Chinese and Tibetans leading to a self-governing democratic political entity for all three provinces of Tibet.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama is a man of peace. In he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his non-violent struggle for the liberation of Tibet. He has consistently advocated policies of non-violence, even in the face of extreme aggression. He also became the first Nobel Laureate to be recognized for his concern for global environmental problems. His Holiness has travelled to more than 62 countries spanning 6 continents.
He has met with presidents, prime ministers and crowned rulers of major nations. He has held dialogues with the heads of different religions and many well-known scientists. Since His Holiness has received over 84 awards, honorary doctorates, prizes, etc. His Holiness has also authored more than 72 books. His Holiness describes himself as a simple Buddhist monk.
He says that as human beings we are all the same. We all want happiness and do not want suffering. Even people who do not believe in religion can benefit if they incorporate these human values into their lives. His Holiness refers to such human values as secular ethics or universal values. He is committed to talking about the importance of such values and sharing them with everyone he meets. Despite philosophical differences between them, all major world religions have the same potential to create good human beings.
It is therefore important for all religious traditions to respect one another and recognize the value of their respective traditions. The idea that there is one truth and one religion is relevant to the individual practitioner. However, with regard to the wider community, we need to recognise that there are several truths and several religions. In addition, His Holiness has lately spoken of his commitment to reviving awareness of the value of ancient Indian knowledge among young Indians today.
His Holiness is convinced that the rich ancient Indian understanding of the workings of the mind and emotions, as well as the techniques of mental training, such as meditation, developed by Indian traditions, are of great relevance today. Since India has a long history of logic and reasoning, he is confident that its ancient knowledge, viewed from a secular, academic perspective, can be combined with modern education.
He considers that India is, in fact, specially placed to achieve this combination of ancient and modern modes of knowing in a fruitful way so that a more integrated and ethically grounded way of being in the world can be promoted within contemporary society. His given name was Pema Dorjee.
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He did his primary studies of reading and writing Tibetan script with Gya-Ton Tsenda Pa-La, and then at the age of fourteen, he took his novice vows from Khenchen Drupa Sherab, abbot of Narthang monastery, who gave him the religious name of Gedun Drupa. Latter, in the year , he took the Gelong vows full ordination from the abbot. The young Gedun Drupa was aware of the fame of the Great Tsongkhapa, the founder of the Gelugpa School and he became his disciple in His loyalty and devotion to Tsongkhapa persuaded the great master to make Gedun Drupa his principal disciple. Tsongkhapa handed Gedun Drupa a brand new set of robes as a sign that he would spread the Buddhist teachings all over Tibet.
In , at the age of eighty-four, he died while in meditation at Tashi Lhunpo monastery. His father was a well-known tantric practitioner belonging to the Nyingmapa sect.
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When Gedun Gyatso was able to speak, he was reported to have told his parents that his name was Pema Dorjee, the birth name of the First Dalai Lama and that he would like to live in Tashi Lhunpo monastery. When he was conceived, his father had a dream in which someone dressed in white appeared and told him to name his son Gendun Drupa and also said that his son would be a person with the ability to recollect his past lives.
However, his father named him Sangye Phel. He received his primary education from his father and at the age of eleven he was recognized as the reincarnation of Gendun Drupa, the First Dalai Lama and was enthroned at Tashi Lhunpo monastery. In , he took his novice vows from Panchen Lungrig Gyatso and his vows of Gelong full ordination from Choje Choekyi Gyaltsen, who gave him the ordained name of Gedun Gyatso.
He studied at Tashi Lhunpo and Drepung monasteries.
In , Gedun Gyatso became the abbot of Drepung monastery and in the following year, he revived the Monlam Chenmo, the Great Prayer Festival and presided over the events with monks from Sera, Drepung and Gaden, the three great monastic Universities of the Gelugpa Sect. In , he became the abbot of Sera monastery.
He began by recounting his life and troubles Tibet faced during his rule and continued:. I am now in the fifty-eighth year of my life. Everyone must know that I may not be around for more than a few years to discharge my temporal and religious responsibilities. You must develop a good diplomatic relationship with our two powerful neighbors: India and China. Efficient and well-equipped troops must be stationed even on the minor frontiers bordering hostile forces. Such an army must be well trained in warfare as a sure deterrent against any adversaries. Furthermore, this present era is rampant with the five forms of degenerations, in particular the red ideology.
In Outer Mongolia, the search for the reincarnation of Jetsundampa was banned; the monastic properties and endowments were confiscated; the lamas and monks forced into the army: and the Buddhist religion destroyed, leaving no trace of identity. Such a system, according to the reports still being received, has been established in Ulan Bator.
In future, this system will be certainly be forced either from within or from outside the land that cherished the joint spiritual and temporal system. Moreover, our political system originated by the three ancient kings will be reduced to empty name; my officials, deprived of their patrimony and property, will be subjugated, as slaves for the enemies; and my people subjected to fear and miseries, will be unable to endure day or night. Such an era will certainly come.
In , on the thirteenth day of the tenth Tibetan month in the water-bird year, the Dalai Lama became ill and began to suffer from a bout of coughing. A day later, he lost his appetite and became short of breath. Despite his illness, for several days he continued with his duties, meeting his officials and monks. Natural calamities such as an earthquake in Kongpo, the destruction of Tsari tsa ri Monastery, which the Dalai Lama had visited, were taken as black omens that the Dalai Lama would not live long. Moreover, in the Western and Eastern Halls of the Potala Palace the sound of a woman weeping was heard, just as was reported at the time of the death of the Seventh Dalai Lama, Kelzang Gyatso tA la'i bla ma 07 bskal bzang rgya mtsho, One day an owl perched on the roof of Nechung Monastery hooted the sound ha ha ha continually for two nights.
Then the crocodile shaped mouth of a gutter on the roof of Tsuklakhang began to drip water, and the source of the drip could not be located. He replied that the portentous sound of the owl indicated that the time had come for him to depart his earthly existence. On thirtieth day of tenth Tibetan month, at midday, the Dalai Lama lay down on his bed feeling weak.
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At that evening the Dalai Lama sat up and placed himself in a meditation posture, he closed his eyes and departed from earthly existence. London: Serindia , pp. Bstan rgyal gling gi rgyal zur bka' khrims phogs pa'i lo rgyus. In Mi rigs dpe mdzod khang gi dpe tho las gsung 'bum skor gyi dkar chag shes bya'i gter mdzod, vol.