Dalai Lama Quotes
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 founded by Je Tsongkhapa. The Dalai Lama title was created by Altan Khan, the Prince of Shunyi granted by Ming Dynasty, in 1578. The 14th and current Dalai Lama is Tenzin Gyatso.
The Dalai Lama has always been an important figure of the Gelug tradition. Although finding dominance in Central Tibet, the Dalai Lama 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. This is significant, even though he had no formal or institutional roles in each religious tradition. He showed that the Buddhist values and traditions should be placed above the importance of any specific school. The Fifth Dalai Lama was granted a golden seal of authority and golden sheets for the exercise of leadership over Buddhism under the heaven by the Shunzhi Emperor of China.
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, called Chenrezig in Tibetan. The name is a combination of the Mongolic word dalai meaning "ocean" or "big" and the Tibetan word བླ་མ་ meaning "master, guru".
From 1642 until 1705, and from 1750 to the 1950s, the Dalai Lamas or their regents headed the Tibetan government.