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Compassion in Politics The Dalai Lama has always been the central leader to the Vajrayana sect of Buddhism and the current Lamas smiling face is one of the most recognizable in the world He has become the poster boy of Buddhism and his charisma has created a market in western countries for not only Buddhist practices but also political activism The Dalai Lamas roll as a top religious leader now also encompasses the roll of political icon and diplomat From Free Tibet bumper stickers to massive rock concerts the Tibetan cause has been adopted by millions of concerned citizens across the globe The position of the Dalai Lama has changed over time However can the Dalai Lama continue to wear all of these hats at the same time effectively and how has the Bodhisattva of Compassion adapted to global political maneuvering It was with the fifth incarnation of the Dalai Lama in 1642 that he was given the responsibilities of primary spiritual and political leader of the Tibetan people The present Dalai Lama is the fourteenth incarnation of the Tibetan Bodhisattva He was born in Amdo Tibet on July 6 1935 to a farming family 106 As a two year-old he was asked to choose from objects that were personal effects of the former Dalai Lama mixed with other similar objects After the young boy chose all of the correct items he was identified as the Dalai Lama From that point on he underwent a rigorous training in ways of the Tibetan Buddhist With a strict and disciplined approach to the education both spiritually and intellectually the Dalai Lama has maintained a high standard of excellence as ruler It is interesting that in the Dalai Lama system all but one of the incarnations has come from modest means and have ascended to greatness 106 The history of Tibet has been intertwined with China since the seventh century through a series of marriages treaties
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