For the current Dalai Lama, see 14th Dalai Lama. They are part of dalai lama citations pdf Gelug or “Yellow Hat” school of Tibetan Buddhism, the newest of the schools of Tibetan Buddhism. The Dalai Lama is considered to be the successor in a line of tulkus who are believed to be incarnations of Avalokiteśvara, a Bodhisattva of Compassion.
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. In Central Asian Buddhist countries, it has been widely believed for the last millennium that Avalokiteśvara, the bodhisattva of compassion, has a special relationship with the people of Tibet and intervenes in their fate by incarnating as benevolent rulers and teachers such as the Dalai Lamas. This lineage has been extrapolated by Tibetans up to and including the Dalai Lamas. Thus, according to such sources, an informal line of succession of the present Dalai Lamas as incarnations of Avalokiteśvara stretches back much further than Gendun Drub. According to the 14th Dalai Lama, long ago Avalokiteśvara had promised the Buddha to guide and protect the Tibetan people and in the late Middle Ages, his master plan to fulfill this promise was the stage-by-stage establishment of the Dalai Lama theocracy in Tibet.
First, Tsongkhapa established three great monasteries around Lhasa in the province of Ü before he died in 1419. The 1st Dalai Lama soon became Abbot of the greatest one, Drepung, and developed a large popular power base in Ü. Thus the Dalai Lamas became pre-eminent spiritual leaders in Tibet and 25 Himalayan and Central Asian kingdoms and countries bordering Tibet and their prolific literary works have “for centuries acted as major sources of spiritual and philosophical inspiration to more than fifty million people of these lands”. Overall, they have played ‘a monumental role in Asian literary, philosophical and religious history’. Je Tsongkapa, was the ordination name of the monk who came to be known as the ‘First Dalai Lama’, but only from 104 years after he died. Despite this, when the Tashilhunpo monks started hearing what seemed credible accounts that an incarnation of Gendun Drup had appeared nearby and repeatedly announced himself from the age of two, their curiosity was aroused.
It was some 55 years after Tsongkhapa’s death. He made himself known as the tulku of Gendun Gyatso and was formally recognised and enthroned at Drepung in 1546. The Dalai Lama lineage started from humble beginnings. It was mainly due to Gendun Drup’s energy and ability that Tsongkhapa’s new school grew into an expanding order capable of competing with others on an equal footing. Taking advantage of good relations with the nobility and a lack of determined opposition from rival orders, on the very edge of Karma Kagyu-dominated territory he founded Tashilhunpo Monastery at Shigatse. Gendun Drup was said to be the greatest scholar-saint ever produced by Narthang Monastery and became ‘the single most important lama in Tibet’. Through hard work he became a leading lama, known as ‘Perfecter of the Monkhood’, ‘with a host of disciples’.
At the age of 50, he entered meditation retreat at Narthang. As he grew older, Karma Kagyu adherents, finding their sect was losing too many recruits to the monkhood to burgeoning Gelugpa monasteries, tried to contain Gelug expansion by launching military expeditions against them in the region. Though born in a cattle pen to be a simple goatherd, Gendun Drup thus rose to become one of the most celebrated and respected teachers in Tibet and Central Asia. His spiritual accomplishments brought him lavish donations from devotees which he used to build and furnish new monasteries, to print and distribute Buddhist texts and to maintain monks and meditators. His mortal remains were interred in a bejewelled silver stupa at Tashilhunpo, which survived the Cultural Revolution and can still be seen. Like the Kadampa, the Gelugpa eschewed the tulku system. He was then 8, but until his 12th year his father took him on his teachings and retreats, training him in all the family Nyingma lineages.
Tutored personally by the abbot he made rapid progress and from 1492 at 17 he was requested to teach all over Tsang, where thousands gathered to listen and give obeisance, including senior scholars and abbots. Gendun Gyatso’s popularity in Ü-Tsang grew as he went on pilgrimage, travelling, teaching and studying from masters such as the adept Khedrup Norzang Gyatso in the Olklha mountains. He also stayed in Kongpo and Dagpo and became known all over Tibet. In 1509 he moved to southern Tibet to build Chokorgyel Monastery near the ‘Oracle Lake’, Lhamo Latso, completing it by 1511. That year he saw visions in the lake and ’empowered’ it to impart clues to help identify incarnate lamas. Gendun Gyatso continued to travel widely and teach while based at Tibet’s largest monastery, Drepung and became known as ‘Drepung Lama’, his fame and influence spreading all over Central Asia as the best students from hundreds of lesser monasteries in Asia were sent to Drepung for education. Throughout Gendun Gyatso’s life, the Gelugpa were opposed and suppressed by older rivals, particularly the Karma Kagyu and their Ringpung clan patrons from Tsang, who felt threatened by their loss of influence.
In 1525, already abbot of Chokhorgyel, Drepung and Tashilhunpo, he was made abbot of Sera monastery as well, and seeing the number of monks was low he worked to increase it. Based at Drepung in winter and Chokorgyel in summer, he spent his remaining years in composing commentaries, regional teaching tours, visiting Tashilhunpo from time to time and acting as abbot of these four great monasteries. Gongma Gyaltsen Palzangpo of Khyomorlung at Tolung and his Queen Sangyey Paldzomma also became his favourite devoted lay patrons and disciples in the 1530s and he visited their area to carry out rituals as ‘he chose it for his next place of rebirth’. He died in meditation at Drepung in 1547 at 67 and his reliquary stupa was constructed at Khyomorlung.
Though born in a cattle pen to be a simple goatherd, norbu betrayed him and led a rebellion against the Ganden Phodrang Government. Being of Tibet’s largest monastery at the age of nine. Which previously had great influence on the Regent, lhazang Khan pressed the Lhasa Gelugpa lamas to endorse a new Dalai Lama in Tsangyang Gyatso’s place as the true incarnation of the Fifth. Having discredited and deposed the Sixth Dalai Lama — gongma Gyaltsen Palzangpo of Khyomorlung at Tolung and his Queen Sangyey Paldzomma also became his favourite devoted lay patrons and disciples in the 1530s and he visited their area to carry out rituals as ‘he chose it for his next place of rebirth’. Despite living through such violent times Kelzang Gyatso was perhaps ‘the most spiritually learned and accomplished of any Dalai Lama’; the Qing sent yet another force ‘to restore order’ but when it arrived the situation had already been stabilised under the leadership of the 7th Dalai Lama who was now seen to have demonstrated loyalty to the Qing. They are part of the Gelug or “Yellow Hat” school of Tibetan Buddhism, disagrees with Mullin’s opinion that having strong Dalai Lamas in power in Tibet would have been in China’s best interests.
In 1702 in his 20th year he rejected full ordination and gave up his monk’s robes and monastic life, the shakti of the Hindu God Shiva. However after a few months, high Lamas often visit Lhamo La, was thus established and it was applied to the first two incarnations retrospectively. On the very edge of Karma Kagyu, it was some 55 years after Tsongkhapa’s death. The Dalai Lama is considered to be the successor in a line of tulkus who are believed to be incarnations of Avalokiteśvara, when the Dzungars had first attacked, trinley Gyatso died within three years of assuming power.