For almost six centuries, the Dalai Lamas have stood as the principal spiritual leaders of Central Asia, and they have held secular power over Tibet for almost half that time. They have served as gurus to Mongolian khans and Chinese emperors alike, as well as to the masses of peoples inhabiting the numerous kingdoms of Central Asia.
Author Glenn Mullin vividly brings to life the sacred mythology associated with the Dalai Lama. He captures the spiritual and political history of this remarkable personage, with accounts not only of the fourteen Dalai Lamas and the legacy of reincarnation surrounding them, but also of the dozens of previous lives of the soul that became these fourteen extraordinary beings. In addition, he has supplemented the stories of the various Dalai Lamas with excerpts from their spiritual teachings, their philosophy and their mystical poetry.
The Fourteenth Dalai Lama, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989, is now almost a household name around the world. However, the ancient tradition of reincarnation to which he is heir is less well known. The First Dalai Lama was born in a nomadic hut in 1391, and each subsequent Dalai Lama is regarded as his reincarnation, choosing to take up the burdens of a human life again and again in order to benefit the world.