Smith College and Hampshire College
His Holiness The Dalai Lama
WIsdom, Compassion, Peace. His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama at Hampshire and Smith Colleges

BIOGRAPHY

His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama is both the head of state and the spiritual leader of Tibet. Two years after his birth in 1935 to a farming family in northeastern Tibet, he was recognized as the reincarnation of the 13th Dalai Lama. The Dalai Lamas are believed to be enlightened beings who choose to be reborn in order to serve humanity.

In 1950, at 16, His Holiness assumed full political power as head of state and government when Tibet was threatened by China. In 1954, he traveled to Beijing for peace talks with Chinese leaders but five years later, after the Chinese military occupation of Tibet, he was forced to escape into exile. Since then, he has resided in northern India, the seat of the Tibetan Government-in-Exile.

Unlike his predecessors, His Holiness has met and talked with many westerners including presidents, prime ministers and crowned rulers, and his reputation as a scholar and man of peace has grown steadily. The Dalai Lama has traveled to more than 62 countries sharing his message of nonviolence, interreligious understanding, universal responsibility and compassion. He has authored more than 72 books.

In addition to the numerous awards and honorary degrees he has received, the Dalai Lama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989 for his nonviolent struggle for the liberation of Tibet. He has consistently advocated policies of nonviolence, even in the face of extreme aggression. He also became the first Nobel laureate to be recognized for his concern for global environmental problems.

Excerpted from the official Web site of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. For more information, go to www.dalailama.com

About the Visit

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Five College Tibetan Studies

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