Essay about Dalai Lama

Submitted By DeborahIsAmazing
Words: 1361
Pages: 6

In 1578 the Mongol ruler Altan Khan bestowed the title Dalai Lama on Sonam Gyatso. The title was later applied retroactively to the two predecessors in his reincarnation line: Gendun Drup, founding abbot of Trashilhünpo and close disciple of Je Tsongkhapa; and Gendun Gyatso, abbot of Trashilhünpo, Drepung, and Sera.[4] The current 14th Dalai Lama and others seeking to assert the historical independence of Tibet believe that Altan Khan did not bestow a title as such, only intending to translate the name "Sonam Gyatso" into Mongolian.[5] Others have noted the title's similarity to Čingis Qāghan, or "oceanic sovereign" (usually anglicized as "Genghis Khan"), a name taken by the Mongol leader Temüjin in 1206 to commemorate his rule of a newly united Mongolian Empire.[6] Tibetans themselves address the Dalai Lama as Gyalwa Rinpoche ("Precious Victor"),Kundun ("Presence"), Yishin Norbu ("Wish fulfilling Gem") and so on.[7]
The current Dalai Lama is often called "His Holiness" (HH) by Westerners in imitation of the traditional address for the Pope. It should be noted that there is no correspondence to this form of address in Tibetan. Before the 20th century, European sources often referred to the Dalai Lama as the "Grand Lama". For example, in 1785 Benjamin Franklin Bache mocked George Washingtonby terming him the "Grand Lama of this Country."[8]
During 1252, Kublai Khan granted an audience to Drogön Chögyal Phagpa and Karma Pakshi, the 2ndKarmapa. Karma Pakshi, however, sought the patronage of Möngke Khan. Before his death in 1283, Karma Pakshi wrote a will to protect the established interests of his sect by advising his disciples to locate a boy to inherit the black hat. His instruction was based on the premise that Buddhist ideology is eternal, and thatBuddha would send emanations to complete the missions he had initiated. Karma Pakshi's disciples acted in accordance with the will and located the reincarnated boy of their master. The event was the beginning of the teacher reincarnation system for the Black-Hat Line of Tibetan Buddhism. During the Ming Dynasty, the Yongle Emperor bestowed the title Great Treasure Prince of Dharma, the first of the three Princes of Dharma, upon the Black-Hat Karmapa. Various sects of Tibetan Buddhism responded to the teacher reincarnation system by creating similar lineages.
Unification of Tibet[edit]
In the 1630s, Tibet became entangled in power struggles between the rising Manchu and various Mongol andOirat factions. Ligden Khan of the Chakhar, retreating from the Manchu, set out to Tibet to destroy the Yellow Hat sect. He died on the way to Qinghai (Koko Nur) in 1634.[9] His vassal Tsogt Taij continued the fight, even having his own son Arslan killed after Arslan changed sides. Tsogt Taij was defeated and killed by Güshi Khan of the Khoshud in 1637, who would in turn become the overlord of Tibet, and act as a "Protector of the Yellow Church."[10] Güshi helped the Fifth Dalai Lama to establish himself as the highest spiritual and political authority in Tibet and destroyed any potential rivals. The time of the Fifth Dalai Lama was, however, also a period of rich cultural development.[citation needed]
The Fifth Dalai Lama's death was kept secret for fifteen years by the regent (Tibetan: སྡེ་སྲིད།, Wylie: sde-srid),Sanggye Gyatso. This was apparently done so that the Potala Palace could be finished, and to prevent Tibet's neighbors taking advantage of an interregnum in the succession of the Dalai Lamas.[11]
Tsangyang Gyatso, the Sixth Dalai Lama, was not enthroned until 1697. Tsangyang Gyatso enjoyed a lifestyle that included drinking, the company of women, and writing love songs.[12] In 1705, Lobzang Khan of the Khoshud used the sixth Dalai Lama's escapades as excuse to take control of Tibet. The regent was murdered, and the Dalai Lama sent to Beijing. He died on the way, near Koko Nur, ostensibly from illness. Lobzang Khan appointed a new Dalai Lama who, however was not accepted by the…