What is the Dalai Lama?
It has always been an important figure of the Gelug tradition. Although finding dominance in Central Tibet, it has been an important figure beyond sectarian boundaries. The Dalai Lama figure is important for many reasons. Since the time of the Fifth Dalai Lama his personage has always been a symbol of unification of the state of Tibet, where he has represented Buddhist values and traditions.
Dalai Lama is a title given to spiritual leaders of the Tibetan people. They are monks of the Gelug or “Yellow Hat” school of Tibetan Buddhism, the newest of the schools of Tibetan Buddhism . The Dalai Lama title was created in 1578.
The 1st Dalai Lama was based at Tashilhunpo Monastery, which he founded, the Second to the Fifth Dalai Lamas were mainly based at Drepung Monastery outside Lhasa. The Fifth Dalai Lama began construction of the Potala Palace on this site in 1645, carefully incorporating what was left of his predecessor’s palace into its structure. From then on and until today, unless on tour or in exile the Dalai Lamas have always spent their winters at the Potala Palace and their summers at the Norbulingka palace and park. Both palaces are in Lhasa and approximately 3 km apart.
Following the failed 1959 Tibetan uprising, the 14th Dalai Lama sought refuge in India. The then Indian Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, allowed in the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan government officials. They have since lived in exile in Dharamshala, in the state of Himachal Pradesh in northern India, where the Central Tibetan Administration is also established. Tibetan refugees have constructed and opened many schools and Buddhist temples in Dharamshala.
Text : Wikipedia contributors. “Dalai Lama.” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 22 Jul. 2017. Web.