Tenzin Gyatso

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Tenzin Gyatso is the 14th Dalai Lama; he is both the head of state and the spiritual leader of Tibet. (A Brief Biography) The Dalai Lama is that of a walking god in Tibetan culture, and a new Dalai Lama is chosen to succeed the previous occupant of the title. Tenzin Gyatso was chosen at a young age to lead a life of spiritual, religious, and political duties in Tibet. Gyatso proves that patience trounces impulsiveness and/or reactionary measures.

Tenzin Gyatso was recognized at the age of two as the reincarnation of his predecessor the 13th Dalai Lama. (The Nobel Peace Prize 1989) Gyatso started his education at the age of six and completed the Geshe Lharampa Degree (Doctorate of Buddhist Philosophy) when he was 25. The most remarkable achievement about earning the degree was that he passed an extremely difficult test. The test consisted of 3 sections, in the morning, Gyatso was to be examined by 30 scholars on his logic, in the afternoon he was examined by 30 scholars on logic, and in the evening, he then debated with 15 scholars on the monastic discipline and the study of metaphysics. (Dalai Lama Tenzin Gyatso) This type of testing shows that the title of Dalai Lama entails both educational and political requirements.

In 1950, China invaded Tibet and Gyatso was call upon to assume full political power. After going to China for peace talks with Chinese leader Mao Zedong, and the Tibetan national uprising not succeeding, Gyatso was forced to escape into exile. (A Brief Biography) In 1963, Gyatso created a democratic constitution for Tibet, which led to a number of reforms to democratize Tibet. Gyatso proclaimed that when a president is elected, he will transfer all his historical and political authority to the interim president, this happened in 1990. In September 1987, Gyatso proposed a 5-point peace plan for Tibet to the United Nations; this peace plan was a peaceful solution to the situation in Tibet. (A Brief Biography)

The way Tenzin Gyatso approached the situation with the Chinese and Mao Zedong resembles the techniques implemented by Mahatma Gandhi. Also, rather than organizing a physical counter attack against the Chinese, Gyatso drew up a democratic plan to free Tibet from the claws of the Chinese empire. A quality that was most beneficial towards Gyatso’s success in Tibet is patience. His patience allowed him to think of all his options and not settle for a solution that wouldn’t fulfill his requirements. His patience is also admirable, if most people in the world were as patient as he, than many problems that have happened in the world may have been avoided.

Gyatso proves that patience trounces impulsiveness and/or reactionary measures. The significance of the 14th Dalai Lama is his changes and reforms in Tibet. He improved the livelihood of many people in his home country. Tenzin Gyatso shows that peacefulness can be as effective as being hostile.





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