Talk:14th Dalai Lama/Archive 1

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Archive 1 Archive 2


What about the fact that he is considered by some to have been erroneously identified? I haven't included this in my edit because I don't know exactly what this is about. --Anon

What was wrong with the original location, Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama? --Jiang 07:26, 24 Aug 2003 (UTC)

No idea; British royalty titles are like that, generally... :-? ugen64 23:18, Mar 17, 2004 (UTC)

Of course I mean Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama...stupid me, not checking. At any rate, given that he's universally called the "Dalai Lama", this seems to be on a par with including British peers' titles, isn't it? john k 07:26, 22 Jun 2004 (UTC)

the article being simply called tenzin gyatso is really stupidly needlessly secularised, the whole war i saw here around about a year ago (instigated by pro china users) about using the words 'his holiness' apparently sounding too 'endeering' is rediculous, certainly it is at least stupid not to include the words dalai lama in the title. for anyone who disagrees, please tell me why the article for the pope is titled 'pope benedict the sixteenth' rather than 'Joseph Alois Ratzinger'.

Let's do that for all the Dalai Lamas then. --Jiang 06:42, 25 Jun 2004 (UTC)

I concur.john k 06:54, 25 Jun 2004 (UTC)


If the current Dalai Lama speaks excellent English, as the article claims, why does he have an interpreter, and have his books reviewed by his interpreter (as noted in "The Art of Happiness" and "The Art of Happiness at Work")? I've also found online articles that refer to his "broken English". The claim that he speaks excellent English sounds suspect to me, so I'm changing it to just that he speaks English. ShaneKing 11:40, 16 Feb 2004 (UTC)

I heard him spesk on TV briefly. Couldn't tell if he's eloquent in English or not. But his pronuciation was okay. The accent wasn't too strong. Either way, I cannot attest to his fluency. Although that remark certainly impressed me greatly. --Menchi 07:31, 22 Jun 2004 (UTC)


Since this is now a featured biography, we should probably think about how to expand it. Here's some helpful books/links:

  • Heinrich Harrer's Seven Years in Tibet (book)
  • Freedom in Exile: The Autobiography of the Dalai Lama (book)
  • My Land and My People : The Original Autobiography of His Holiness the Dalai Lama of Tibet (book)
  •'s Biography Click Here
  • Nobel Prize's Biography Click Here

... as well as the links on the main page. Volatile 4 July 2005 03:45 (UTC)


Should we add an infobox? What should it look like? --Hottentot

Is this appropriate?

Is this really appropriate? : "and among supporters of the Dalai Lama are a number of Hollywood actors, most notably Richard Gere, Steven Seagal, and the Beastie Boys." -- prat I don't think it's appropriate. It would be more appropriate to mention the approxiamate number of supporters the Dalai Lama has, what areas of the world contain a lot of supporters, or simply something generic like "the Dalai Lama has many supporters throughout the world." --Patik 00:31, Aug 5, 2004 (UTC)

I suggest removing reference to air rifle. Readers may misundertand, as if Dalai Lama aims at that hawks. Is it an important fact anyway?


I personally think it's one of those interesting personal details, though a clarification of its use would be good.

--cuiusquemodi 20:16, 10 Oct 2004 (UTC) In reading the article, I wondered, why the "See Also" for the Anti-Defamation League, when the article doesn't mention it at all? The ADL article, in turn, does not mention the Dalai Lama. I dug through the edit history and found that there was once an external link to an ADL page concerning the Dalai Lama. I have removed the "See Also" and replaced it with the external link.

Some of this might be able to be used. [1]

Back on to the topic that Patik started: At least Richard Gere is important, as he is a cofounder of the Tibet House.--demonburrito 12:28, 13 August 2005 (UTC)

I think the fact that a lot of his support is from Hollywood is important. Just as it would be important to mention the same in an article about Scientology. However, someone should edit it to mention that Seagal actually received his 'certification' as a reincarnated lama from the head of another sect, not from the DL.(Wisc)


The assertion that "China invaded Tibet in 1950" is false. Tibet was and is part of China, as even the Western powers that now pander to the Dalai Lama freely acknowledge (and acknowledged at the time).

The entire article reflects a favourable point of view towards the Dalai Lama and omits important information, such as the fact that he presided over the world's most oppressive feudal serfdom—he still does in India—and owned hundreds of slaves. In addition, he was a stooge of the CIA, a fact that he himself now admits.

Shorne 22:20, 27 Sep 2004 (UTC)

I think we can agree that the status of Tibet before 1950-1959 is contentious. Tibet and Mongolia regarded themselves as independent, China did not. Keep in mind that the modern conceptions of most nations (including China) are recent inventions in any case; just as India before partition was not "India + Pakistan + Bangladesh", China before the 20th century may not be the same as China today.

An apparently politically-motivated editor has just changed "China invaded" to "China reclaimed", so we can have a nice edit war or we can try to come up with a neutral description of the event that will be equally (dis)pleasing to everyone.

As for the omitted important information, I've added an external link to an interesting interview that happens to bring the matter up, but the topic itself belongs in the article on Tibet and its history (where it can be found). The Tibetan theocracy might even have been "the world's most oppressive feudal serfdom" at the time China entered, but certainly isn't in its exiled form in India. If Gyatso had publically professed a desire to return to that system I'd see your point, but quite the opposite is true.

I do agree that the stuff about celebrity support could be trimmed, as well as the air rifle thing (who cares?). - toh 08:02, 2004 Oct 17 (UTC)

An apparently politically-motivated editor has just changed "China invaded" to "China reclaimed", so let's try "China occupied". - toh 20:10, 2004 Oct 18 (UTC)

"China invaded" and "China occupied" are politically motivated (and therefore POV). "China reclaimed" is neutral.
It is not clear to me that the Dalai Lama does not desire to return to a feudal theocracy. That is exactly the system that his "government-in-exile" instituted in India. The aristocrats went to Dharamsala while the poor were sent to die working on road-building projects. Shorne 01:46, 19 Oct 2004 (UTC)
Well, this is my reasoning behind the use of "occupied": both "invaded" and "reclaimed" make an implicit claim as to the status of Tibet before the Red Army entered there, whereas "occupied" seems closer to a mere observation of what happened. There's still a slight political connotation but it seems to me less than in either of the other terms. It does seem to be established that China didn't have a substantial presence before that event. A state can occupy its own lands, dependencies, or whatever, whereas it can't invade itself nor reclaim what wasn't clearly its own (in particular if neither the PRC nor RoC had had a major presence there before). I'll check what terms are being used in other disputed territory articles to see if there's anything better out there, though I fear they'll be even more of a battleground (pun unintended).
It wouldn't surprise me if the new govt-in-exile set up in a manner similar to what they'd left behind; what else would they know? I find it hard to imagine that this guy's stance hasn't evolved considerably in the last 45 years, though. For instance he recently (last week) stated that China in charge of Tibet (yielding neither independence nor autonomy) might be ok. I suspect at this point in his life he mainly wants to get back home, which would bring him closer to China's position on what's up for discussion. In fact a summary of the evolution of that position over the decades might be a good paragraph for the article.

toh 18:39, 2004 Oct 20 (UTC)

"Occupied" has decided implications of not belonging there. We would not say that China "occupies" Hubei or Zhejiang. Of course the PRC could not have "had a major presence" anywhere before it was established.
It was not only last week that the Dalai Lama announced that he does not seek independence for Tibet. To the consternation of the Western "Free Tibet" movement, which persists despite the position of its supposed leader, he has been saying that for a good ten years. As for going home, he can do so at any time. As a Chinese citizen, he has the right to return for a visit or to stay. Indeed, he has scheduled a number of visits in the past twenty years or so. It was he who cancelled every one of them. China has clearly said that he is welcome to return. I bet he'd even get the red-carpet treatment. Shorne 08:15, 21 Oct 2004 (UTC)
Given that the Chinese government arrested the Panchen Lama named by the Dalai Lama, I somehow doubt it. Unless jails over there have red carpets, anyway. Titanium Dragon 14:05, 21 Apr 2005 (UTC)

It's this kind of idiocy that seems to plague the Tibet issue. China did invade. Anytime an army/group using force moves into an area where it is not wanted by the local populace is an invasion. Hence, North America was invaded, Palestine also, etc. But that comment about how the DL would be arrested once he enters China is just ludicrous & ignorant (a good characterization of a lot of pro-Tibetans & mainland Chinese on this issue). The DL can return to China as a private citizen. He will not be arrested. Your comment otherwise shows your ignorance and knee-jerk China-is-Evil reaction. I swear both sides on this issue can be so full of garbage, that I think they should seriously let other people (like me) handle the issue. All Pro-Tibeters and mainland Chinese should stay away from this page.

I took out the line: "They generally claim that he is obsessed with war yet professes to oppose it." I think this is just unnecessary. No one with any sense thinks the DL is obsessed with war [although he doesn't condemn some of them either - although that makes him a bit of a flakey pacifist]. (Anon)

I had a look at the reference, which says "fascinated" (rather a different thing) but not, as far as I can see, "obsessed". "They" implies more than one person makes this rather weird criticism, of which I see no evidence. ;) Mark1 10:38, 27 November 2005 (UTC)

Some idiot keeps puttin the line back in. All it does is make this article look biased. I also noticed that some other lines keep getting changed back. Clearly, some anti-DL guy/gal is doing this. Whoever you are, just go away. Making a biased article just gives it no credibility. Also, to whoever's changing the part about homosexuality. I hardly think the DL and his Buddhist tenets equate homosexuality as an equal impropriety as masturbation. I personally think there's nothing wrong with homosexuality and I would disagree with the DL and Buddhism about it, especially about the *cough*cough* masturbation part. However, the DL is soft-selling his disapproval in the face of some opposition to his statements. Buddhism & the DL does view homosexuality as a graver offense than, say, masturbation. That is, your karma will take a big hit.

Hey, if masturbation is a sin, then I'm going to be reincarnated as a flea in my next life...

I've edited the section on the Dalai Lama's position on the iraq war to more accurately reflect what his position seems to be. Supporting the use of war and violence and saying that perhaps some good can come out of it are different things. Allowing people to have nuanced positions is important. Uncle-P 06:21, 19 December 2005 (UTC)

Good work on including the DL's initial stance on the war. Seems people neglected that. Still, Uncle-P, you shouldn't have sourced the Tibetan Government-in-Exile in that instance. No more than you would about Microsoft from Microsoft's PR department. Or for that matter, the Chinese Foreign Ministry (but that doesn't even need to be said). The DL has frequently said one thing, then when there's criticsm, the TGIE will issue a statement that he was misunderstood, e.g. the DL's stand on India's nuclear weapons.

The DL's organisation seem to me an excellent source for the DL's statements of opinion. I'd go to the PRC's site for expressions of their opinion too. Mark1 17:45, 19 December 2005 (UTC)

Heh. Good point. And those references to the times he has reiterated his position are very helpful. 20:14, 19 December 2005 (UTC)

'China reclaimed' asserts that China owned Tibet in the first place. Historically, which is where the nation makes its claims, it did not. In any case, Tibet restated its independence in 1916 under the Thirteen Dalai Lama. Whether or not China chose to recognize that is irrelevent.

Prefixed-Style of Formal Address

Per current Wikipedia policy, as claimed by jguk to have been adopted by a prior consensus, I am prefixing the formal style His Holiness to the present biographical entry. Do not revert this edit unless you can dispute the existing Wikipedia:Manual of Style (biographies) policy regarding Honorific Prefixes, and the entry on Style (manner of address) containing examples.

Please note that it is my preference that the prefixed style not be used, however if it is used in some cases (such as for Pope Benedict XVI) but not for others (such as Dalai Lama Tenzin Gyatso) then this may constitute improper POV by the Wikipedia community. Because of the existing division of opinion regarding the appropriateness of this policy, a survey is currently being conducted at Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style (biographies)/Survey on Style-Prefixed Honorary Titles in which I encourage you to participate. Whig 04:04, 4 May 2005 (UTC)

The result of the survey is that a majority of those voting expressed that prefixed styles are POV and should not be used. Although there is no consensus as yet on a positive style guide for mentioning formal styles, the prescriptive language which was most favored is currently up for ratification.
Because NPOV trumps consensus, the removal of prefixed style at this time is appropriate. Whig 08:49, 15 May 2005 (UTC)

wikification -- too much?

Is it necessary to wikify words like farmer, potato, north-east etc? Too much wikification can make the article somewhat unreadable. --Ragib 7 July 2005 02:47 (UTC)

Ok, I'll undo some words like that. --Hottentot

Small Historical Corrections

I do not want to buy into the "occupied" vs. "reentered" debate but there are a few things that perhaps could be improved here. For a start when the PLA crossed the line-of-control in 1950 it did not enter Tibet proper, but remained in Kham - what the Republic of China had called the province of Xikang. Clearly they were making a point by not entering Tibet proper and it is probably worth mentioning it.

This Dalai Lama is not the first DL to leave Tibet - the 13th spent a short time in India in 1910. If your politics go that way others spent a long time in Mongolia.

This DL's family were not small farmers in a Tibetan context - they relied on hired labour which would make them rich farmers (a political classification in Chinese). Nor did they live in the province of Amdo, but the province of Qinghai (controlled as it was by Hui warlords who theoretically recognised the government in Nanjing) which is known in Tibet as the region of Amdo.

This article glosses over the fact that the 17 Point agreement was signed in 1951 and the DL worked with the Chinese until he passed his last set of exams in 1959. Nehru suggested he work with the Chinese in 1956 (if I remember correctly). Nor, and I may be wrong, did the DL set foot outside Tibet in 1950 - he went to Yadong on the border, but not into India itself. Can anyone check?

Some other things have probably occurred to me but I forget. Anyone object if I make a few small corrections or have a sensible way of phrasing things so that no one objects? Lao Wai 7 July 2005 17:18 (UTC)

  • I have no objections. One suggestion I do have is reworiding the sentence that states he was the first Dalai Lama to travel outside of Tibet could be changed to, "He was the first Dalai Lama to travel outside Eastern Asia and India" or alternatevly, "He was teh first Dalai Lama to travel outside China, India or Mongolia." Falphin 7 July 2005 23:05 (UTC)

9th or 5th child

I assumed he was the fifth but I found this. [2] Falphin 8 July 2005 00:20 (UTC)


This isn't the best image in the world but it shows him accepting the nobel peace prize. It says all content may be used as long as it is no altered which may apply to image as well. Should we use it? [3]

How about this one? --Hottentot
That one is better and since it is there I"m guessing it isn't copyrighted. My computer has issues with loading images could you upload it. Thanks. Falphin 01:14, 10 July 2005 (UTC)
It probably is copyrighted. See the main page of the link I gave you (the bottom of the page), but anyways, here it is: File:Nobel.gif
I think we could put it under the fair use template for now. The picture is on several websites which is why I think it might be PD. Falphin 01:27, 10 July 2005 (UTC)
I'm not very familiar with this though, so don't trust my word for it. Falphin 01:34, 10 July 2005 (UTC)
Here is another, but it is copyrighted. [4]. I wonder if there is a place I get someone to change the image. I'm also e-mailing them. Falphin 01:35, 10 July 2005 (UTC)
Here's a slightly larger version of that image.

Godzilla! LOL! Though I think this is extremely funny, I don't believe it to be conducive to the article. Someone might want to change the first picture!

His Holiness

I object to the use of "His Holiness" in the begining of the article, this is certainly a POV. And incidentally bears no relationship with any traditional title he has in Tibetan.

It is Wikipedia policy to it. FearÉIREANN40px\(caint) 17:27, 15 July 2005 (UTC)

The 14th Dalai Lama is His Holiness! If you dont want to use that, then simply say the Dalai Lama, but that is also a special name for him. You need to ask yourself why you don't want to use HH and start from there. All the best to you! Me 03:33, 7 July 2006 (UTC)

The Dalai Lama will visit Switzerland

As a upcoming event I would like to notice that the Dalai Lama will visit Switzerland from 05.08.2005 to 12.08.2005. Unfortunately the swiss-govenment is not al originally planned willing to receive him as a official represent of the tibet (on pressure of china) but as a represent of the buddhist religion.

helohe 12:10, 22 July 2005 (UTC)

Tibet House

I have just written a stub for the Tibet House, and I think this needs to be mentioned in 'International' section, as there is already a reference to co-founder Richard Gere.--demonburrito 12:43, 6 August 2005 (UTC)


I notice that the ethnic origins of the DL have been put in again and no one has objected. May I ask what is the evidence for the DL being from a Mongur family? Lao Wai 08:19, 10 August 2005 (UTC)

The person who added that was User:Nathan hill (User: I asked him what proof he had about this, and here's what he said on my talk page:
The fact that the Dalai Lama is from a Mongour family is very widely known. His village was Mongour. His native language is Mongour. Consider for a moment the history of his older brother's career (i.e. a Mongolian professor at Indiana). It is rather common for Dalai Lama's to be picked from regional minorities, the fourth was a Mongol and the 6th a Mönpo.
Now, the question of whether the Dalai Lama is a Tibetan... well of course he is, he is after all the Dalai Lama.
Mongour is a divergent Mongolian dialect. The Mongours have been Tibetan buddhist since at least the 16th century.

He is Tibetan, not Monguor I have been several times to the 14th Dalai Lama's home village, talking to his relatives living there, as well as talking to his youngest brother in Dharamsala: they are definitely Amdowa (in the sense of Tibetans of Amdo) and not Monguor. --Gruschke 15:55, 5 December 2006 (UTC)


As well as being the most influential spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism, the Dalai Lama traditionally claims to be Tibet's Head of State and most important political ruler.

A tricky one! While it may be true that Mongolia, China and the monasteries all claim to be the One True Government of Tibet, this seems a bit much: it sounds like the DL is a bit like Emperor Norton I of the United States of America, which is not true. The monasteries are historically the only local government of Tibet. Any other claimants have been foreign. (preceding unsigned comment by User:Taejo)

Emperor Norton I did claim to be the emperor of the United States. If it could be shown that the DL believes himself to be HoS, then that is the case, regardless. The keyword is claims. The statement is factual.--demonburrito 12:22, 13 August 2005 (UTC)


"The main focus of his speech was the improsement of Tibetans in China and the stressing of use of non-violence."

'Improsement' is not an English word so I have removed the abovementioned sentence as I am not sure what the author is trying to say.

Morgan Leigh - 5:26 AM Monday, August 15, 2005 UTC.

I think they meant 'imprisonment'. I'm putting it back with that word.

commonbrick 01:55, 16 August 2005 (UTC)

That would be the obvious solution, except if you read the speech he mentions imprisioned Tibetans only once, and that is most certainly not the "main focus" of the speech. I have edited the article to reflect what he actually said.

Morgan Leigh - 1:30 AM Thursday, August 18, 2005 . (UTC)

Peer Review

Is this article ready for Peer Review? And is there anyone willing to make the changes suggested during that period? Falphin 22:23, 23 August 2005 (UTC)

Yeeeah, about the serfs...

I'm not seeing anything about him ruling a brutally oppressive serfdom. Isn't that kinda, y'know, relevant?--Deridolus 19:35, 11 September 2005 (UTC)

  • Huh? I have no idea what you are talking about, please clarify--Falphin 22:52, 13 September 2005 (UTC)

His Holiness

I changed the introduction section (i.e. removed His Holiness) to bring the article in line with the current consensus in Wikipedia:Manual of Style (biographies).

Concerning the infobox of the Dalai Lama styles itself: Isn't Kundun one of his styles as well? Gugganij 21:18, 14 September 2005 (UTC)


Hi, added some info in the Criticisms section about the CIA funding and training. Acrilico 06:11, 24 November 2005 (UTC)

Improvement Drive

Meditation is currently a nominee on WP:IDRIVE. If you would like to see this article improved vote for it on WP:IDRIVE.--Fenice 15:32, 27 December 2005 (UTC)

Reference numering

I don't know enough about the "ref" template to be sure what to do about this, but the mixture of "ref" references and single-square-bracket references is causing the "ref" references at the bottom of the page to be misnumbered relative to the footnote numbers in the text. User:Glenn Willen (Talk) 06:50, 1 January 2006 (UTC)

I have re-switched to use the "misnumbered relative" for now. Besides I think the way the "ref" template was used was much to complicated that it should be. See Mandan for an example of a good use. --Khoikhoi 02:08, 4 January 2006 (UTC)

POV Mark

I've added a POV mark to please all the people arguing down there. hopfully this will bring some peace and quiet to his holiness's wikipedia page. Pure inuyasha 00:26, 4 January 2006 (UTC)

There hasn't been any arguing here for weeks. Unless you're planning to start some, I'll remove the tag. Mark1 01:16, 4 January 2006 (UTC)
Done. Mark1 12:40, 5 January 2006 (UTC)

Oops.... Guess I have to learn to check dates... Pure inuyasha 22:04, 5 January 2006 (UTC)

Name in Tibetan script

I do hope that those question marks really are his name in Tibetan with the correct font. Though it might be quite amusing if they did turn out to be just question marks... Mark1 01:37, 20 January 2006 (UTC)

I'm using Mac OS X and I can see it fine. --Khoikhoi 03:52, 20 January 2006 (UTC)
I have several Tibetan fonts installed on Win XP & I can't read it. It's just a row of boxes. Does anyone know which font has been used? I think the only way to overcome this problem is to make a gif image of the Tibetan. More systems will see a gif than read Tibetan scripts. --Bodhirakshita 05:40, 5 March 2006 (UTC)

Position on Global Social Issues

The Dalai Lama has repeated time and againhis opposition to abortion andhomosexuality, but a reading of the section dealing with this, it would be hard to ascertain his political and social leaning. Only once during his North American tour did I hear him express even a modest "modification" of his stance on gay relationships, for instance.

To a question about homosexuality to aSeattle audience he said "nature arranged male and female organs "in such a manner that is very suitable... Same-sex organs cannot manage well." But he stopped short of condemning homosexual relationships altogether, saying if two people agree to enter a relationship that is not sexually abusive, "then I don't know. It's difficult to say."

This view is quite different from what appears in the Wikipedia entry which I believe to be, frankly, misleading. I suspect a sympathetic writer modified the text to give the religious leader a softer, more acceptable persona.

I don't really see your objections. The abortion text more or less allows him to speak for himself, with a direct, attributed quote from the New York Times. Regarding homosexuality, all of the information is clearly referenced and sourced with highly credible sources, including another direct quote from his own book. I don't see how direct quotes in full context can be misleading. The sources you provide don't contradict the article at all. Sylvain1972 20:10, 29 January 2006 (UTC)
Actually he/she is right, the DL is against homosexuality, but will soft sell this to a Western audience. Which leads me to the conclusion that there'll never be a major religious figure who doesn't have his head up his @ss.—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 07:30, 16 July 2007 (UTC)

mongolia shut borders

Should this be included? The page claims china shut its borders with mongolia when the dalai lama visited that nation.Evilbu 21:54, 5 February 2006 (UTC)

Reincarnation vs rebirth

I have a problem with the use of the term "reincarnation" in a Buddhist context. Reincarnation implies the repeated incarnation of an eternal soul or essence. Buddhists don't believe in an eternal soul. The preferred English term is "rebirth". See Reincarnation & Rebirth --Bodhirakshita 05:50, 5 March 2006 (UTC)