10 Facts about His Holiness the Dalai Lama

10 Facts about His Holiness the Dalai Lama

His Holiness the Dalai Lama is one of the world’s religious leaders. Yet he says that ethics is more important than religion. He wears an ordinary pair of sandals and the smile on his face is mesmerizing.

Top 10 facts about Dalai Lama


He was born as Lhamo Dhondup on 6th July 1935 to a farmer family in Tibet. He was later identified as the reincarnation of the 13th Dalai Lama when he was just 2 years old. And then named Tenzin Gyatso.


When he turned 6 years old, he started studying the Buddhists Philosophy. He studied 10 subjects which included Tibetan art and culture, medicine, monastic discipline canon, logic and metaphysics. According to an interview with National Geographic Kids, his favorite game was playing with two white mice that would sneak into his room and distract him from studying. By the age of 23, he had passed his exams with honors.


The name Dalai Lama is a combination of the Mongolic word “Dalai” meaning “Ocean” and the Tibetan word “Blama” meaning “Guru/Teacher/Mentor”.


The Dalai Lama is fascinated by science and has said that if he had not become a monk, he would have become an engineer. His hobbies include meditating, gardening and collecting and repairing watches.


The residence of Dalai Lama, Potala Palace and Norbulingka are both UNESCO World Heritage Sites.


The Dalai Lama is one of the sixteen and only one of the five of them to survive past six.


He is a non-vegetarian. He had turned into a vegetarian for a short time but had to turn back to non-vegetarian as he had developed jaundice.


In 1989, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his work advocating non violent means to free Tibet from China.


It is believed that each Dalai Lama is a manifestation of the Bodhisattva (Buddha) of compassion, who are believed to have postponed their nirvana and chosen to be the rebirth in their service of humanity. This Dalai Lama is the 74th manifestation of Avalokkiteshvara Bodhisattva, the enlightened Buddha of compassion.


The Dalai Lama is an outspoken international advocate for a variety of issues, a major one being environmental concern. He writes and speaks extensively about the need for a caring attitude toward the environment.