Tenzin Gyatso was born to a peasant family on July 6, 1935 in the northeastern Amdo province of Tibet. At the age of two, he was declared the reincarnation of the thirteenth Dalai Lama and a manifestation of Avalokiteshvara, the Bodhisattva of Compassion. He was enthroned as the fourteenth Dalai Lama in the capital Lhasa in 1940, taking on full responsibility as Head of State and Government at the age of fifteen. He was granted political asylum in India in 1959, after fleeing the suppression of the Tibetan national uprising against the Chinese occupation.
One of the leading exponents of Buddhism today, the Dalai Lama has been awarded many accolades, including the Nobel Peace Prize and the Albert Schweitzer Award. He remains the religious and temporal leader of Tibet, while living in exile in Dharamsala, India.
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