Fascinating insight into the mind of one of the greatest contemporary spiritual leaders.
In 1938 a two year old boy was recognised through a traditional process of discovery as being the reincarnation of all previous Dalai Lamas, the spiritual rulers of Tibet. Taken away from his parents, he was brought up in Lhasa according to a monastic regimen of rigorous austerity and in almost total isolation. Aged seven he was enthroned in the 1000-room Potala palace as the supreme spiritual leader of a nation the size of Western Europe, with population of six million. And at fifteen, he became head of state.
With Tibet under threat from the newly Communist Chinese, there followed a traumatic decade during which he became the confidant of both Chairman Mao and Jawaharal Nehru as he tried to maintain autonomy for his people. Then in 1959, he was finally forced into exile - followed by over 100,000 destitute refugees.
Here, in his own words, he describes what it was like to grow up revered as a deity among his people, reveals his innermost feelings about his role, and discusses the mysteries of Tibetan Buddhism. He tells of secret deals struck with the CIA as Tibet continued to struggle for independence, talks freely of the many world leaders he has known, and talks of the West's malaise from his standpoint as a spirtual and temporal figure of world reknown.
'A touching book, that arouses great sympathy for its extraordiary author' SPECTATOR
'From the supernatural marvels of Shangri-La to the life-and-death manoeverings of Realpolitik: an earnest, inspiring, and wholly captivating tale of spiritual adventure' KIRKUS REVIEWS
His Holiness the Dalai Lama was born on July 6, 1935, to a poor farming family in northeastern Tibet. At the age of two he was recognised as the Dalai Lama, the spiritual and temporal leader of Tibet, the fourteenth in a succession dating back six hundred years. At age six he began his lifelong training as a Buddhist monk. Since 1959, he has lived in exile from Tibet in Dharamsala, India. His tireless efforts on behalf of human rights, world peace, and basic human values have brought him international recognition.
He is the recipient of numerous honors and awards, including the 1989 Nobel Peace Prize and a U.S. Congressional Gold Medal. For more information about the Dalai Lama, including his schedule of teachings, visit: www.dalailama.com.
Geshe Thupten Jinpa has been the principal English translator to His Holiness the Dalai Lama since 1986. He is a Tibetan Geshe and holds a B.A. in Philosophy and a Ph.D. in Religious Studies from Cambridge University. He is the current President of the Institute of Tibetan Classics. He has translated and edited many books by the Dalai Lama.