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The 14th Dalai Lama is the current Dalai Lama. The Dalai Lama is the spiritual head of Tibetan Buddhism and political leader of Tibet. Tenzin Gyatso is the religious name of the Dalai Lama.
See the fact file below for more information on the Dalai Lama or alternatively, you can download our 22-page Dalai Lama worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
- The 14th Dalai Lama was born as Lhamo Thondup on July 6, 1935 in Taktser, China, located northeast of Tibet.
- He was born to a peasant family who labored in farming and horse trade. He was the fifth of sixteen children born to his parents, but only seven of them survived childhood.
- His family did not speak the Tibetan language so he grew up speaking Xining, a dialect of the Chinese language.
- At two years old, he was identified as the reincarnation of the late 13th Dalai Lama, Thubten Gyatso.
- This identification was the culmination of months of searching for the successor of the 13th Dalai Lama.
- Lhamo Thondup was renamed Tenzin Gyatso and proclaimed the 14th Dalai Lama.
WHAT DOES DALAI LAMA MEAN?
- Dalai means ocean in Mongolian while Lama means spiritual teacher in Sanskrit.
- Dalai Lama then literally means “ocean spiritual teacher,” which connotatively means a teacher who is as spiritually deep as the ocean.
- It has long been believed that Dalai Lamas are the reincarnation of the Buddhist deity Avalokiteshvara.
- The Dalai Lama is viewed as a highly spiritual, enlightened, compassionate being who has postponed the afterlife and chosen to be reincarnated in service to humanity.
BECOMING THE DALAI LAMA
- At six years old, Tenzin began his rigorous religious schooling, which consisted of Tibetan culture, the Sanskrit language, Buddhist philosophy, and medicine.
- His education on Buddhist philosophy was divided into five categories: the perfection of wisdom, monastic discipline, logic, metaphysics, and epistemology.
- When he was 11 years old, Tenzin met Austrian mountaineer Heinrich Harrer who taught him about the outside world and remained the Dalai Lama’s friend until Harrer’s death in 2006.
BEING THE 14TH DALAI LAMA
- At age 15, Tenzin assumed full political leadership and control as the Dalai Lama in 1950.
- His political leadership was cut short when the People’s Republic of China invaded Tibet in October 1950.
- The Dalai Lama personally went to Beijing in 1954 to engage in peace talks with Mao Zedong and other Chinese leaders.
- In 1956, the Dalai Lama went to India for the celebration of the 2,500th anniversary of the Buddha’s Enlightenment.
- He was advised by his closest advisors to not return to Tibet as the situation with the Chinese government had worsened, but he still returned.
- In 1959, with the increasing suppression by Chinese troops, Tibetan people began to stage an uprising.
- Led by the belief that the Chinese were planning to assassinate him, the Dalai Lama, together with his advisors and several thousand followers, fled to Dharamshala in northern India.
- He established an alternative government there in Dharamshala.
AUTONOMOUS TIBETAN STATE
- The People’s Republic of China subscribed to communist philosophy.
- As they considered Tibet as part of the Republic, they also considered the Dalai Lama to be a separatist who incited rebellion among Tibetans.
- In hopes of establishing an autonomous Tibetan state within the People’s Republic of China, the Dalai Lama issued a draft constitution for Tibet in 1963, which was called the Charter of Tibetans in Exile.
- The draft consisted of guidelines for Tibetans in exile as well as reforms to transform the government into a democratic one.
- Some of the reforms include freedom of belief, speech, assembly, and movement.
- With the aim to spread awareness of the situation of Tibet and Buddhism in general, he went on to travel to various countries and deliver talks and lectures on Buddhist philosophies.
- The Dalai Lama proposed a peace resolution with the Chinese government in September 1987. It was called the Five Point Peace Plan for Tibet.
- The proposal intended for Tibet to be allowed to exist and self-govern in peace and that Tibet would then be a sanctuary where enlightened people can live while the Chinese government would still be the authority for Tibet’s defense and foreign policy.
- In June 15, 1988, the Dalai Lama went to Strasbourg, France to address members of the European Parliament and propose peace talks between the Chinese and Tibetans.
- He did not stop advocating for the independence and autonomy of Tibet as he also sent delegations to China to discuss such proposals, albeit achieving little success.
- His non-violent approach and efforts for the liberation of Tibet were recognized and he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989.
- The Dalai Lama is revered by Tibetans as their protector and spiritual leader.
- On May 29, 2011, the Dalai Lama signed the document officially transferring his authority to the elected leader, putting an end to the centuries-old tradition of the Dalai Lama being the political head of Tibet.
Dalai Lama Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about the Dalai Lama across 22 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Dalai Lama worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the Dalai Lama who is the spiritual head of Tibetan Buddhism and political leader of Tibet. Tenzin Gyatso is the religious name of the Dalai Lama.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Dalai Lama Facts
- Brief Biography
- Describing Dalai Lama
- Terms to Remember
- Monastic Education
- Buddhist Philosophy
- All About Tibet
- Sequencing Events
- Communism vs. Buddhism
- Traits of a Leader
- Prize for the Dalai Lama
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Link will appear as Dalai Lama Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, March 16, 2020
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.