Tenzin Gyatso, better known as The 14th Dalai Lama, is one of the most beloved spiritual leaders throughout the world and a global icon of peace and compassion. The Tibetan religious leader turns 86 today and his followers commemorated the occasion throughout the world via virtual celebrations and wished him a long life.
He was born on July 6, 1935, in Tibet and exiled to India in 1959. He proudly terms himself as calls the “son of India”.
A number of leaders in India, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan, have wished him on his 86th birthday. Sand artist Sudarshan Pattnaik has also shared one of his arts on the occasion of the Spiritual leaders’ birthday on Twitter.
On the occasion of his birthday, he shared a video for his well-wishers as well as followers and appealed to them to keep non-violence and compassion in their lives.
In the video, he said, ”I am just one human being. Many people really show they love me. And many people actually love my smile. In spite of my old age, my face is quite handsome. Many people really show me genuine friendship. Now this moment my birthday, I want to express my deep appreciation of all my friends who have really shown me love, respect and trust. I want to express my thanks.”
He is the longest-reigning as well as the longest-living Dalai Lama to date and he may be the last Dalai Lama.
Dalai Lama is an important figure of Tibetan culture, and his exile to India sparked major outrage in the region. China wants to control the appointment of the next spiritual leader of Tibet to be able to have a firm grip on the Tibetan monastic order to control the region and legitimise its atrocities against Tibetan people.
The noble laureate Dalai Lama has time and again expressed his desire to retire from political responsibilities by the time he is 90 and he would choose his own successor before he dies.
To India, he is the face of Indian pluralism and displays India’s fight for stability in the region with greater advocacy of democracy.