Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama, as a young child. He was born into a prosperous farming family in Tibet in 1935. He was enthroned as the leader of Tibet in 1950 at the age of 15 and also assumed the role of Tibetan Buddhism's spiritual leader. After the collapse of the Tibetan resistance movement in 1959, he fled to India.
The Dalai Lama and Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru in New Delhi in 1961, where they discussed the plight of Tibetans who crossed the border into India during the Tibetan uprising against Chinese rule. When the Tibetan resistance collapsed in 1959, the Dalai Lama fled into exile in India. China has ruled Tibet since then.
Pope John Paul II meets with the Dalai Lama at Vatican City in November 2003. He has met with many religious leaders over the years to promote religious dialogue. In 1989, he won the Nobel Peace Prize.
The Dalai Lama poses with his wax image at Madame Tussaud's in 1993 in London. He brought a pair of his own glasses for the statue.
The Dalai Lama jokes with New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani before an audience of 3,000 at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York in 1997.
The Dalai Lama speaks to an audience 40,000-strong at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival in Washington in July 2000.
President George W. Bush welcomes the Dalai Lama to the White House in 2001.
The Dalai Lama pats a koala held by Bindi Irwin at the Australia Zoo during a tour titled "Open Arms -- Embracing Kindness" in Beerwah in June 2007.
A monk stands in front of Potala Palace in Lhasa, the capital of Tibet, in 2004. Before his exile, the palace was the winter home of the Dalai Lama.
The Dalai Lama presents actor Richard Gere with a traditional Tibetan ceremonial scarf during the International Campaign for Tibet 2009 Light of Truth Award in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 7, 2009.
Framed by the Tibetan flag, the Dalai Lama speaks to members of the Tibetan community on Oct. 11, 2007, in New York City.
The Dalai Lama speaks with spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar during the launch ceremony of Global Foundation for Civilizational Harmony in New Delhi on Jan. 22, 2008. The organization aims to build a global civilization of peace, harmony and mutual enrichment.
The Dalai Lama addresses a press conference in New Delhi, on March 29, 2008. He discussed the Chinese government policy of "demographic aggression."
Pro-Tibetan protesters hold candles as they stand next to a poster of the Dalai Lama during a rally in San Francisco on April 8, 2008.
The exiled spiritual leader playfully touches fists with musician Dave Matthews after a panel discussion at Seattle's Key Arena on April 11, 2008.
Devotees watch the Tibetan spiritual leader give religious teachings at the Tsuglakhang temple in Dharmsala, India, on Sept. 30, 2008.
Exiled Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama gives a speech at the EU Parliament in Brussels on December 4, 2008. China warned that day that multi-billion-dollar trade ties with France could be affected by President Nicolas Sarkozy's planned meeting with the Dalai Lama.
Nobel Peace Prize winner and former Polish President Lech Walesa, right, and fellow laureates the Dalai Lama, left, and Adolfo Perez Esquivel, center, are seen in Gdansk, Poland, on Dec. 5, 2008. Walesa was marking the 25th anniversary of his Nobel Peace Prize win.
The Dalai Lama receives an honorary doctorate at the Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland, on December 8, 2008. He expressed admiration for the nation's 1980s non-violent struggle against its now defunct communist regime.
The Dalai Lama prays before inaugurating the installation of a hand-carved 2.5 meter-high stone statue of Lord Buddha in the compound of the Institute of Higher Tibetan Studies in the northern Indian city of Sarnath on Jan. 9, 2009.
The Dalai Lama smiles as he is flanked by Rome's Mayor Gianni Alemanno, left, and his wife Isabella, right, after being made an honorary citizen of the Italian city on Feb. 9, 2009.
The Dalai Lama greets reporters as he arrives for a press conference at the main temple in Dharamsala, India, on March 10, 2009. In a speech marking the 50th anniversary of the Tibetan uprising, the Dalai Lama said he would continue to pursue the "middle path" approach despite China's crackdown on Tibetans.
The Dalai Lama speaks to reporters outside the White House in Washington on Feb. 18, 2010, following a meeting with President Barack Obama. Every U.S. president for the last two decades has met with the Dailai Lama, including George W. Bush and Bill Clinton.
The Dalai Lama announced that he will pass the reins of political power to the elected prime minister of the self-proclaimed on Thursday, March 10, 2011. Tibetan government in exile hoping to prevent a political vacuum after his death and ensure an effective response to Chinese crackdowns and Beijing's increasingly effective use of diplomatic pressure. Dalai Lama made a point of saying he wasn't retiring, and his global status and reputation ensure that he will continue to play a major role in Tibetan affairs.
The Dalai Lama holds a forty-nine days memorial service for victims of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami at the Gokokuji temple in Tokyo on Friday, April 29, 2011. The 75-year-old monk, on his way to the US, offered prayers and messages to a nation in deep sorrow after the 9.0-magnitude earthquake and tsunami on March 11 that has plunged Japan into its worst post-War crisis.