Time Magazine Features His Holiness the Dalai Lama on its Cover Page for the Third Time

12/03/2019

His Holiness the14th Dalai Lama during the conversation with Time said, “Around Six million Tibetan people trust me.” Photo/Screengrab/@time.com

By  Shyamal Sinha

Time, American weekly news magazine and news website, released an exclusive article featuring His Holiness the Dalai Lama in conversation with Shanghai-based correspondent Charlie Campbell and Photographer Ruven Afanador for 18 March US edition.

This week issue featuring His Holiness on the Time cover page is entitled: The Survivor for 60 years, the Dalai Lama has been the face of Buddhism. 

This edition is, in fact, the third time His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama has been on the cover of TIME. The first was in 1959 His Holiness was then 23, escaped into exile. In 2008, the travel writer and TIME contributor Pico Iyer profiled His Holiness again as China cracked down on Tibetan freedom demonstrations ahead of the Beijing Olympics.

Tibetan spiritual leader Tenzin Gyatso, better known as His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, escaped from Tibet to India on 17 March 1959.  

Born on 6 July 1935 in a farming family in a village in northeastern Tibet, Lhamo Dhondup (his name at the time), was at the age of two years recognised as the reincarnation of Thubten Gyatso, the 13th Dalai Lama. According to Tibetan Buddhist belief, Dalai Lamas are Bodhisattvas, enlightened beings who are reborn to serve mankind. 

Tenzin Gyatso’s monastic education started when he was six.

In October 1950 the Chinese army reached the area near the Dalai Lama’s territory. The same year in November the 14th Dalai Lama formally became Tibet’s temporal ruler. He reached out to China, even going as a delegate for a session of the National People’s Congress in 1954. He also held the post of deputy chairman of the Congress’ Standing Committee.  

During a trip to India in 1956 he asked Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru if the latter would grant him political asylum if the need arose. In 1956 there was a rebellion in the Tibetan-populated region of eastern Kham in the province of Sichuan. America’s secret agency CIA supported the rebels in their campaign. In 1959 there was an uprising in Lhasa,Tibet. With China cracking down on the rebellion, the Dalai Lama and his aides started their journey to escape Tibet, with the help of CIA agents, on 17 March 1959.

 

They crossed over to India on 30 March 1959, and reached Tezpur (Assam) on 18 April.

One of the world’s most famous exiles had started.  

Peter Jackson, a foreign correspondent with the Reuters, who was stationed in India at the time and together with his wife Adrienne Farrell broke the story of the Dalai Lama’s escape to India, wrote in February 2009: “Fearing that the Chinese would seize the Dalai Lama, crowds of Tibetans, some armed, surrounded the Norbulingka Palace, where the Dalai Lama was staying. He decided to escape to India. On 17 March 1959, he dressed as a Tibetan layman, and slung a rifle over his shoulder. With a dust storm providing cover, he walked out, unrecognized, from the palace. The Dalai Lama and his officials, who had also escaped from the palace, rode out of the city on horses to join his family for the trek to India.”

Sixty years passed by since His Holiness stepped into the foreign soil, yet he has become the most respected Buddhist spiritual leader of the world.  In exile, with the aids from Tibet supporters and good samaritans, His Holiness has achieved milestones in reviving Tibetan culture and religion, and developing Tibetan schools and Tibetan Settlements from the nascent stage. As of now, with the blessing of His Holiness and the support of the host country, more than 80,000 exiled Tibetans are residing in India, keeping their Tibetan identity intact.

” In 1959, Time magazine had a cover of a young His Holiness the Dalai Lama escaping Tibet. 60 years later, His Holiness is on the cover as the Survivor. Now, we look forward to the day when His Holiness will be on the cover again — returning home to Tibet. This is the aspiration of 6 million Tibetans.”

Likewise, Tibetans and Tibet supporters across the globe took to their social media sites to show reverence for their beloved and one of the most respect spiritual leader of the world.

Since then the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan-government-in-exile are based in Dharamsala, Himachal Pradesh. Besides being the Tibetans’ most revered spiritual leader, the 14th Dalai Lama, a Nobel Prize laureate, is a global symbol of peace and tolerance.  

 

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