By William McNamara
The Dalai Lama is the leader of the religion Tibetan Buddhism. He is believed to be the God of Compassion, who helps people on earth.
The current Dalai Lama, called Tenzin Gyatso, was born on 6 July 1935, in the Takster Village of eastern Tibet to a poor farming family. He was educated as a Buddhist Monk from the age of 6, gained a Ph.D. in Buddhist philosophy and scored high marks at three different universities – Drepung, Sera and Ganden.
Because of the Chinese communist invasion, he was forced to become Dalai Lama only ten years later. After the death of a Dalai lama, search parties are sent around the world, following signs and visions, to find the next leader, who is thought to be a reincarnation. Gyatso was discovered at age 6.
Since then he has travelled the world, spreading his belief in kindness and compassion. The Dalai Lama believes that showing kindness and respect is even more important in the world today because of violence around us. He also hopes to teach children through these values.
“Because we all share this planet earth, we will have to learn in harmony and peace with each other and with nature. This is not just a dream, but a necessity.” – The Dalai Lama
Tibetan Buddhism combines magic and spirit worship. They study ancient texts called Tantras, and have many rituals such as meditation and chanting. Many Buddhist monks study at the Gelukpa school.