His Holiness the Fourteenth Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, is the spiritual leader of Tibet and was head of the state until 2011.
He was recognized as the reincarnation of the 13th Dalai Lama, Thubten Gyatso, when he was only two years old. At the age of 16 he initiated reforms to rectify the administrative flaws and to improve the welfare of the common people. He began his education at the age of six. At 24, he took the preliminary examination at each of the three monastic universities: Drepung, Sera and Ganden. The final examination was held in the Jokhang, Lhasa, during the annual Monlam Festival of Prayer, held in the first month of every year. His Holiness passed the examinations with honours, conducted before a vast audience of monk scholars. He completed the Geshe Lharampa Degree (Doctorate of Buddhist Philosophy) when he was 25.
His Holiness was also awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his non-violent struggle for the liberation of his homeland in 1989. He has consistently advocated policies of non-violence, even in the face of extreme aggression. In fact, he was the first Nobel Laureate to be recognized for his concern for global environmental problems.
In his later years, his Holiness has travelled around the world preaching the message of Buddha and Gandhi: peace, tolerance and compassion. In recognition of his message of peace, non-violence, inter-religious understanding, universal responsibility and compassion, he has received over 150 awards including Templeton prize award, honorary doctorates, prizes, etc. He has also authored or co-authored more than 110 books. He has also held various dialogues with heads of different religions and participated in many events promoting inter-religious harmony and understanding.