ta la'i bla ma
ngag dbang blo bzang thub bstan rgya mtsho
Gya-wa Rim-po-chhe, KundŸn, Kyam-gšn Rim-po-chhe
Born 1876 Died 1933
From the introduction to ÒWhoÕs Who in TibetÓ 1915/38
The spiritual and temporal ruler of Tibet is the Dalai Lama whom the Tibetans believe to be the incarnation of the god Chen-re-zi (Avalokiteswara). He is addressed in English as His Holiness, and is called by Tibetans Gyawa Rimpoche (Precious Ruler, or Precious Conqueror), Kyamgon Rimpoche (Precious Protector), or Kundun (The Presence). The thirteenth Dalai Lama died in December 1933 and, until his re-incarnation was discovered some six years later, the Incarnate Lama of Reting Monastery was appointed Regent.
The late Dalai Lama, Ngawang Lobzang Thupten Gyatso, was born in 1875 or early 1876, the son of humble parents in the district of Takpo, to the south of the Tsangpo River. Little is known of his early life. On the advance of the British Mission he fled from Lhasa to Mongolia, accompanied by the Buriat Mongolian Dorjieff, about June 1904. From Mongolia he proceeded to Peking in 1908 on a visit to the Emperor Kwang Hsu and the Dowager Empress of China. At the end of 1909 he returned to Lhasa but shortly after his arrival the Chinese invaded Lhasa with the object of securing complete control over Tibet. The Dalai Lama fled from Lhasa, narrowly escaping capture by the Chinese troops. He crossed the India frontier on the 21st February 1910, arriving at Darjeeling on the 3rd March 1910, and continued to reside in Darjeeling in a house placed at his disposal by the Indian Government, and at Kalimpong until July 1912 when he returned to Tibet. After his flight from Lhasa the Chinese Emperor formally deposed him but after the Revolution the Imperial decree was rescinded by the new Republican Government. While in India in March 1910 the Dalai Lama visited Lord Minto at Calcutta and made a pilgrimage to Bodh-Gaya, Benares, Rajagir, Gauhati, Kashinagara, Balarampur, and Lumbini in Nepal. His residence in India produced a lasting effect on his mind, and greatly enlarged his heroism.
He speaks Mongolian and understands a little Russian and can read and write in Sanskrit. He is a man of strong character but of kind disposition and is strict observer of religious ceremonies. He pays great attention to the details of administration, allowing no orders of importance to issue without his personal approval. He is reconciled to European modes of living and has occasionally taken food with Europeans. His return to Tibet was the occasion of numerous popular demonstrations which indicated that his temporary withdrawal from Tibet had in no way impaired his position in the minds and hearts of Tibetans. In August 1914 he offered to place 1,000 troops at the disposal of Government for the war with Germany.
The rule of the late Dalai Lama had been autocratic, and consequently on his death there was a period of confusion and uncertainty. But the Regent, Prime Minister and Kashag have gradually established themselves firmly in the direction of affairs.
Page references from Who's Who in Tibet
1938 (page 17) 1942 (page 5) 1945 (page 13) 1949 (page 27)