The Dalia Lama Public and Private


TheDalia Lama Public and Private

TheDalai Lama Public and Private

TheDalai Lamas are important figures in Tibetan Buddhism culture andreligion. Other than religion, Dalai Lamas have had temporal dutiesthat have been instrumental in making them known over the world. Thecurrent Dalai Lama is the 14thone. Little has changed as per the expectations of their roles sincethe reign of the 1stDalai Lama. In 1989, the Dalai Lama was the winner of the covetedNobel Peace Prize this victory is attributed to his role in otherfields outside the Buddhism religion. These fields includeenvironmental conservation, peace, physical sciences, sexuality,technology, and cognitive science. Iyer (2009) has indicated that theDalai Lama is among the most cognitively gifted people around theglobe this is due to his approach to problem solving. Most peopleonly see the public side of the 14thDalai Lama however, this prominent Tibetan figure has a private lifethat is unknown to many.

ThePublic Dalai Lama

DalaiLama’s public life is the reason he is presently referred to as aglobal icon. As simple as he may seem, he participates in religiousgatherings and has other temporal duties outside Buddhism. Accordingto Iyer (2009), Dalai Lama attends official meetings in variouscapacities. In some official meetings, Dalai Lama is among thestrategic personalities that offer useful ideas for companies to taketheir competitive edge a notch higher (Iyer, 2009). The Dalai Lama’sparticipation in official meetings, seminars, and conventions isattributable to his influential quotes and an optimistic approach tolife. As a fact, Dalai Lama believes that light stays longer thandarkness (Iyer, 2009). This implies that Dalai Lama encouragescorporate organizations to focus less on the challenges of thebusiness world but instead center more on the opportunities that comewith such issues. Dalai Lama’s views about life have made him amongthe most sought after personalities in the business community.

DalaiLama is also a public speaker to various audiences. Iyer (2009) hasdescribed this as Dalai Lama’s principal activity. Iyer (2009)humorously articulates that Dalai Lama’s participation in publiclectures has overshadowed his religious duties. Despite receivingsubstantial amounts of money for public talks and dialogues, DalaiLama does not seem to show an inclination to the financial outcomesof his talks. Instead, he remains a simple Buddhist monk who lives anordinary life that few people of his caliber would opt to live. Hedonates a significant part of his proceeds to a broad range ofcharities in different parts of the world. According to Iyer (2009),Dalai Lama has a busy international schedule where variousinstitutions often invite him to motivate, teach, and inspire peoplefrom all walks of life and religious affiliations. His public talksare centered on compassion, peace, happiness at all times, andethical living.

DalaiLama is also a religious teacher who has millions of followers,especially in Tibet and India. He teaches large Buddhist audiencesabout the foundations of Buddhism and the expectations of religiousfaithfuls (Iyer, 2009). He does this on a regular basis. Also, heleads members of his religion in many religious occasions of theBuddhist calendar. Thousands of Buddhists attend these occasions.

ThePrivate Dalai Lama

Despitehaving an influential public life that has made him popular amongpeople from all walks of life, Dalai Lama also has a private life.His private life is unknown to many (Iyer, 2009. The reason is thatjust like any other public figure, most people opt not to delve intohis private life. An interesting part of Dalai Lama’s private lifeis that he maintains the same views he holds on the public arena. Heis a simple monk who lives with his close aides whom they share closeconversations on a regular basis, especially in the evenings (Iyer,2009). Dalai Lama believes that evening conversations are useful instrengthening the bonds that exist between people who live together.

Whenhe is away from public glare, Dalai Lama enjoys foods rich in greenvegetables. This iconic figure is a vegetarian who believes everyoneshould show compassion towards animals (Iyer, 2009). He believes thateating meat is a sign of cruelty to animals. Iyer (2009), hasindicated that Dalai Lama only consumed meat for a few yearsfollowing medical advice from his physician after a suffering fromhepatitis. However, this prominent figure does not consume meatanymore.

Whenaway from the watchful eyes of the public, Dalai Lama meditates forabout three to four hours each morning. He does this at a place ofcomplete silence that enables him to see things one cannot notice inthe absence of stillness (Iyer, 2009). According to Dalai Lama, innersatisfaction is manifested in real life. For this reason, he ensuresthere is complete silence whenever he mediates. After deep mediation,he takes breakfast made of porridge and roasted barley.

TheAppealing Side of Dalai Lama

Thepublic Dalai Lama is more appealing than the private one. The publicside of Dalai Lama is a humorous, an optimistic, as well as a lessstrict one. Despite strongly opposing abortion, violence, corruption,and war, the public Dalai Lama shows compassion in addressing thechallenges the world is going through. On the public side, he doesnot show his strictness compared to his private life. For instance,in his private life, Dalai Lama does not tolerate interruption duringhis meditation sessions that usually take place in the morning (Iyer,2009). However, this does not mean the iconic figure is harsh andhostile.

Again,it is through the public Dalai Lama that the world is graduallybecoming a better place. This is attributable to the public lectures,conferences, and talks he holds in various nations of the world. IfDalai Lama was to keep a low public profile it would not have beenpossible for him to illuminate the world with his unmatched wisdomand optimism. Such a character has made him one of the most soughtafter motivational speakers by leading universities in the world.Besides, through his public life, one can see that Dalai Lama iscommitted to eliminating human suffering both in speech and inaction. For example, Dalai Lama donates a significant portion of hisproceeds to charities.

Tosum up, the 14thDalai Lama is an important figure in the Tibetan Buddhism culture andreligion. Dalai Lama’s approach to life has made him a prominentfigure the world over to both Buddhists and non-Buddhists . Hispublic and private lives show just how committed he is to making theworld a better place for everyone. His public life is more appealingcompared to his private living this is because Dalai Lama’s publiclife has played a significant role in changing the world. Also, as aleader, his public life has been instrumental in changing hisfollowers’ perspectives about life. Dalai Lama’s views about lifetakes an optimistic approach whereby, a leader strives to influencepeople to see the bright side of life in spite of the ups and downsthey may face.


Iyer,P.&nbsp(2009).TheOpen Road: The Global Journey of the Fourteenth Dalai Lama.London: