The Dalai Lama is a title given to the spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism. This phrase originated from the Tibetan word "Da lai bla ma," which translates to "ocean of wisdom." The Dalai Lama is regarded as a symbol of compassion, wisdom, and enlightenment, representing the essence of Buddhism.
The Dalai Lama is believed to be the reincarnation of Avalokiteshvara, the Bodhisattva of Compassion. According to Tibetan Buddhist tradition, after the death of a Dalai Lama, his reincarnation is sought through a rigorous process involving various signs, omens, and visions. Once found, the identified child is taken as the new Dalai Lama and is trained in Tibetan Buddhist philosophy and practices.
The Dalai Lama plays a vital role in guiding his followers on their spiritual path, offering teachings, and promoting peace and harmony around the world. His holiness is an advocate for non-violence, human rights, and interfaith dialogue, and he has dedicated his life to spreading the message of compassion and universal responsibility.
The term "Dalai Lama" has become widely recognized beyond Tibetan Buddhism, symbolizing not only the leader of this spiritual tradition but also embodying peace, wisdom, and a humanitarian approach to life. The Dalai Lama has gained immense global respect and admiration for his tireless efforts in promoting spirituality, social justice, and the well-being of humanity as a whole.
The word "Dalai Lama" originates from the Tibetan language. The term consists of two parts:
1. "Dalai": The precise origin of this word is uncertain, but it is thought to have derived from the Mongolian word "dalai", meaning "ocean" or "great". It might be a translation of the Tibetan term "gyatso", which also means "ocean".
2. "Lama": This word comes from the Tibetan term "blama", which means "teacher" or "guru". It is a title given to spiritual leaders and masters in Tibetan Buddhism.
Therefore, the combined term "Dalai Lama" can be roughly translated as "Ocean Teacher" or "Great Guru". It is the highest title bestowed upon the spiritual leaders of the Gelug school of Tibetan Buddhism.