Official title ('Great Ocean') of the leading teacher in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, first designated as such in 14th century, and believed to be a rebirthing of the bodhisattva (bodily emanation) of compassion. The role was extended for much of the intervening time to include responsibility for political government. This is at the root of the yet to be resolved contention with the government of the Republic of China, which does not recognise Tibet as in any sense independent of its own larger authority. The scale of atrocities by Chinese troops in the 1950s - termed officially as genocide by a Commission of International Jurists - and the subsequent initiatives to change the demography of Tibet is apparent from independent analysis.
The present Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, is based in exile in India. Committed to the principle of non-violence he has worked for a democratised autonomous republic of Tibet - internationally recognised in the award of the Nobel Prize for Peace in 1989. His story is one of the tension between religious and secularist beliefs each claiming its own moral authority. It is one of internal critical reflection and reworking of both the nature of Buddhist social ethical engagement and of the challenge of Marxist humanism to Maoism.
Ancient Wisdom, Modern World - Ethics for a New Millennium http://www.profkev.com/docs/nyingjechenmo.pdf
Speeches and Letters http://fpmt.org/teachers/hhdl/speeches
Dalai Lama interview (8 mins) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5cHPz2afEWY