Dalai Lama Celebrates His 87th Birthday by Opening a New Library and Museum

The Dalai Lama Turns 87 and Celebrates by Dedicating a New Library and Museum

His Holiness the Dalai Lama opens the Dalai Lama Library and Archive in Dharmsala, India on July 6, 2022. (Photo: Tenzin Choejor)

His Holiness the Dalai Lama is one of the most revered spiritual leaders on the planet. The Buddhist leader, known as Tenzin Gyatso, is the 14th incarnation of the Dalai Lama. Born in 1935, he has reigned as Tibet's spiritual leader since 1940. In July, His Holiness turned 87 and celebrated by inaugurating the Dalai Lama Library and Museum in Dharmsala, India. The new institutions will hold relics of the Dalai Lama's life work as a spiritual and Tibetan leader.

The current Dalai Lama was chosen as the successor to the 13th Dalai Lama when he was only a toddler. By 15, he assumed full responsibilities. He is a living Bodhisattva, an enlightened being. However, in his own words on his website, the Dalai Lama says, “I always consider myself as a simple Buddhist monk. I feel that is the real me. I feel that the Dalai Lama as a temporal ruler is a man-made institution. As long as the people accept the Dalai Lama, they will accept me. But being a monk is something which belongs to me. No one can change that. Deep down inside, I always consider myself a monk, even in my dreams.”

His new library and museum will help preserve his teachings over many years of service and study. In 1959, the Dalai Lama was forced to flee Tibet after China crushed a rebellion. He has since treated Dharmsala, India, as his home base. The new institutions are below his hillside residence but above the lower Lha-gyal-ri circumambulatory path. Tea and sweet rice greeted the guests as the Dalai Lama, monks, and students entered. Even actor Richard Gere attended as a longtime friend and student. The Dalai Lama later addressed the crowd.

The new library and museum will help preserve the history of other Dalai Lamas as well as Tibet itself. His Holiness said at the inauguration, “On my birthday, everyone smiles happily and chants ‘Happy Birthday to You.’ I’d like to thank you for being cheerful today during this critical time for our nation. Since I bear the title ‘Dalai Lama,’ I’ve done what I could to contribute to preserving Tibetan religion and culture.” Later, he cited learning to train his mind as important throughout his life. He ended with more words of wisdom, “Since it’s my birthday, I’m going to have a good meal and then take a good rest. Please keep up your courage, work together, and do your best.”

His Holiness the Dalai Lama turned 87 in July 2022. He celebrated by inaugurating a new museum and library.

The Dalai Lama Turns 87 and Celebrates by Dedicating a New Library and Museum

The Dalai Lama enters the Dalai Lama Library and Archive. (Photo: Tenzin Choejor)

The renowned spiritual leader currently lives in Dharmsala, India, where he still teaches and meets with world leaders.


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h/t: [ABC]

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Madeleine Muzdakis

Madeleine Muzdakis is a Contributing Writer at My Modern Met and a historian of early modern Britain & the Atlantic world. She holds a BA in History and Mathematics from Brown University and an MA in European & Russian Studies from Yale University. Madeleine has worked in archives and museums for years with a particular focus on photography and arts education. When she isn’t writing, she enjoys hiking, film photography, and studying law while cuddling with her cat Georgia.
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