His Holiness the Fourteenth Dalai Lama
An Illustrated Biography and Tibetan Chronicle
By Tenzin Geyche Tethong • photo research and editing by Jane Moore$ 35
“Tenzin Geyche Tethong has written a book for all times: delightful, insightful, truthful, authentic, fun, moving, and important. Tenzin Geyche’s narrative is warm and knowing_he was there. This is a completely necessary addition to understanding who and what His Holiness the Fourteenth Dalai Lama truly is … and to feeling the heart and soul of Tibet. The photographs are rare and superb. The stories are fresh and beautifully told. I was transported. I love this book.” — Richard Gere
About this book
This biography of the Dalai Lama—blessed by His Holiness himself—is the most authentic and intimate profile of the world’s greatest living spiritual figure. Tenzin Geyche Tethong, a close aide of His Holiness for forty years who became family, offers readers unprecedented access to the Dalai Lama in this beautifully illustrated book. The Dalai Lama’s youngest brother, Ngari Rinpoche Tenzin Choegyal, who was only 12 years old when he accompanied His Holiness on his dangerous 1959 escape to India, is a personal friend of Tethong and the mentor for this book project. As “elders” to the Tibetan community in exile, these men have come together to tell the true story of His Holiness—their brother, friend, and leader.
Featuring previously unpublished photographs, as well as interviews and memories of those closest to him, this book renders unparalleled insights into the Dalai Lama’s experiences as the preeminent leader of Tibet, and the wealth of his compassion and gentle humor in the face of the ongoing conflict. This is in no small part due to Tethong and Ngari Rinpoche’s unique perspectives on many sensitive issues.
Richly compelling, His Holiness the Fourteenth Dalai Lama: An Illustrated Biography is a stunning visual celebration of the Dalai Lama, sketching a memorable portrait of an icon and a cause that have won the attention and hearts of billions across the world.
• As his long-time personal secretary, Tethong was privy to the Dalai Lama’s difficult relationship with India during his exile, with many challenges arising from his host country’s ambivalence to Tibet. Tethong candidly discusses India’s lackluster attempts at uplifting his people—denying them official documentation, restricting employment, and crowding refugees in the remote location of Dharmsala—citing its fear of angering China as the reason behind its ambivalence towards Tibet.
• Tethong also sheds much-needed light on the Dalai Lama’s Nobel Prize-winning campaign for the spiritual and political liberation of his people. He adopts a nuanced approach towards the Dalai Lama’s non-violent struggle for Tibetan autonomy, writing frankly about their attempts to mediate the political differences between younger Tibetans in Dharmsala and the Tibetan administration. He also explores the numerous political difficulties faced by the Dalai Lama’s cause in the years before its worldwide recognition.Brand: Tenzin Geyche Tethong
“Tenzin Geyche Tethong has written a book for all times: delightful, insightful, truthful, authentic, fun, moving, and important. Tenzin Geyche’s narrative is warm and knowing_he was there. This is a completely necessary addition to understanding who and what His Holiness the Fourteenth Dalai Lama truly is … and to feeling the heart and soul of Tibet. The photographs are rare and superb. The stories are fresh and beautifully told. I was transported. I love this book.” —Richard Gere
“This gorgeous biography-in-photographs is a more than welcome addition to the ever-expanding library of books by and about the Dalai Lama. Tethong has worked with and been close to the Dalai Lama for four decades, and he makes new the ever-fascinating story of His Holiness and his mission in a book that will appeal to readers just discovering the Dalai Lama and those steeped in his life and influence. The harrowing story of the Dalai Lama’s escape from Tibet and the approaching blitzkrieg of the invading Chinese has become legend. So, too, his humble rural childhood before he was identified as the fourteenth incarnation of Avalokiteshvara, the Buddha of Infinite Compassion. Here, too, is life-in-exile in Dharamsala, India, where the Dalai Lama focused on the Tibetan community even as he became an in-demand world leader and icon. There is so much to see in this lush and generous biography, which not only portrays His Holiness but which also illustrates the vibrant cultural heritage and resiliency of the Tibetan diaspora, that readers will be compelled to repeatedly return to its pages.” —Booklist
“There is a wealth of literature on the Dalai Lama, his teachings, his life, and Tibet’s relations with China. However, this biography by Tethong, one of the Dalai Lama’s longtime aides, may offer a more intimate and personal perspective. Readers are taken through a brisk overview of this extraordinary life covering the Dalai Lama’s young ascendency to his position, the struggles and diplomatic roes that led to his life in exile, his work in spreading Tibetan culture and Buddhist teachings around the world, and his unwavering call for peace and compassion. Tethong offers personal anecdotes as a witness to many of these moments and provides a Tibetan context to allow readers to have a better understanding of the course of historical moments in the Dalai Lama’s life. The true gem of this work is the extensive number of previously unpublished archival photographs and primary documents. VERDICT A general but authentic overview of the Dalai Lama’s life that will appeal to those new to the topic, as well as vested scholars, for the work’s valuable archival material.” —Library Journal
“Tethong, a long-serving aide to the Dalai Lama, offers a vivid insider’s look at the life of one of the most revered spiritual figures in the world. The Dalai Lama who emerges here is a humble man who loves his Lhasa Apso dogs, tinkering with watches, watching movies, and keeping up conversations with the world’s top scientists. Through a gripping narrative and never-before-seen photos of the Dalai Lama and his family, Tethong tells the story of Tibet and its sometimes violent struggle for autonomy from China. This larger story is intimately intertwined with the Dalai Lama’s life, which took him from a farming and horse trading family in a small Tibetan village to the temple-palace complexes of Lhasa, to exile in India after Chinese occupation of his country in 1959. Tethong also covers the Dalai Lama’s relationships with prominent figures including former Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and Archbishop Desmond Tutu, and how they have broadened his outlook beyond Tibet. Notably, the Dalai Lama’s trips with Desmond Tutu to Israel, in Tethong’s estimation, reinforced his message of ‘continued advocacy for universal values of peace and brotherhood.’ This remarkably candid and intimate account sheds new light on the life of the world leader.” —Publishers Weekly
About the Author
Jane Moore is an acclaimed photo researcher and editor. Formerly Photo Editor at the Sunday Times Magazine in London, she is the founder of Tibet Images, a picture archive dedicated to Tibet and the Tibetan diaspora. She is a leading expert on the cultural institution of the Dalai Lama and continues to build up a rare archive of his life and his people.