Explaining the Dalai Lama

A survey conducted last year found that the Pope is the most recognizable religious figure in the world. The second most recognizable is the Dalai Lama. The Pope’s high profile is understandable given that he is the head of 1.2 billion Catholic Christians living in more than a hundred countries. But the Dalai Lama? He is from what was until recently a little-known country in central Asia, isolated behind the Himalayas, and he is revered by only 8 million Buddhists in Tibet, Mongolia, Sikkim and Bhutan. How has this monk become so recognizable and so esteemed? And exactly who or what is a Dalai Lama?



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