The Dalai Lama is considered to be the successor in a line of tulkus who are believed to be incarnations of Avalokiteśvara, the Bodhisattva of Compassion. The name is a combination of the Mongolic word 'dalai' meaning "ocean" and the Tibetan word 'bla-ma' meaning "guru, teacher, mentor".
Despite his humble beginnings, being born in a stable in a remote part of Tibet, the 14th Dalai Lama has become one of the most popular world leaders. As the 14th Dalai Lama, he was formally enthroned on November 17, 1950, during the Battle of Chamdo with the People's Republic of China. In 1951, the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan government were forced to accept the Seventeen Point Agreement for the Peaceful Liberation of Tibet,
Further notes regarding Buddhism:
Buddhism is a religion that was founded by Siddhartha Gautama (“the Buddha”) more than 2,500 years ago in India. With about 470 million followers, scholars consider Buddhism one of the major world religions. The religion has historically been most prominent in East and Southeast Asia, but its influence is growing in the West. Many Buddhist ideas and philosophies overlap with those of other faiths.
Buddhism Beliefs. Some key Buddhism beliefs include:
Followers of Buddhism don’t acknowledge a supreme god or deity. They instead focus on achieving enlightenment—a state of inner peace and wisdom. When followers reach this spiritual echelon, they’re said to have experienced nirvana.
*The religion’s founder, Buddha, is considered an extraordinary man, but not a god. The word Buddha means “enlightened.”
The path to enlightenment is attained by utilizing morality, meditation and wisdom. Buddhists often meditate because they believe it helps awaken truth.
There are many philosophies and interpretations within Buddhism, making it a tolerant and evolving religion.
Some scholars don’t recognize Buddhism as an organized religion, but rather, a “way of life” or a “spiritual tradition.”
Buddhism encourages its people to avoid self-indulgence but also self-denial.
Buddha’s most important teachings, known as The Four Noble Truths, are essential to understanding the religion.
Buddhists embrace the concepts of karma (the law of cause and effect) and reincarnation (the continuous cycle of rebirth).
Followers of Buddhism can worship in temples or in their own homes.
Buddhist monks, or bhikkhus, follow a strict code of conduct, which includes celibacy.
There is no single Buddhist symbol, but a number of images have evolved that represent Buddhist beliefs, including the lotus flower, the eight-spoked dharma wheel, the Bodhi tree and the swastika (an ancient symbol whose name means "well-being" or "good fortune" in Sanskrit).
There are considered three 'branches' of Buddhism:
Theravada Buddhism has a widespread following in Sri Lanka and Southeast Asia such as Cambodia, Myanmar and Thailand. Mahayana, which includes the traditions of Pure Land, Zen, Nichiren Buddhism, Shingon and Tiantai (Tendai), is found throughout East Asia.
Vajrayana, a body of teachings attributed to Indian adepts, may be viewed as a separate branch or as an aspect of Mahayana Buddhism.
Tibetan Buddhism, which preserves the Vajrayana teachings of eighth-century India, is practiced in the countries of the Himalayan region, Mongolia, and Kalmykia.
His Holiness, The Dalai Lama is a title given by the Tibetan people for the foremost spiritual leader of the Gelug or "Yellow Hat" school of Tibetan Buddhism, the newest of the classical schools of Tibetan Buddhism. The 14th and current Dalai Lama is Tenzin Gyatso, who lives as a refugee in India.