Author(s): Andrew Crowe
‘The Dalai Lama’s smile and his ability to forgive mean so much more when you know the circumstances of his life.’ �Author Andrew Crowe, meeting a young Chinese tourist on the Potala Palace roof in 2002, tells her the marvellous story, forbidden to her people, of the 14th Dalai Lama. He tells of the Dalai Lama’s remote and humble family home and how, at the age of two and a half, he was already a child with an extraordinary presence and sense of destiny when he was recognised as the next spiritual leader of Tibet. How he and his family trekked to the vast Potala Palace in Lhasa for the start of his training, while all the long journey, pilgrims prostrated themselves before him and sought the four-year-old’s blessing. In this well-crafted story, Crowe details His Holiness’s strange childhood in the world’s largest palace; his friendship with Austrian Heinrich Harrer whose escape from an Indian POW camp and trek through the Himalayas is one of the world’s incredible survival stories; the boy’s fascination for film and for learning; his spiritual development and self-improvement, especially in tackling a ferocious temper.�When the Dalai Lama was just fifteen China invaded Tibet and full political power was foisted on him. Despite a meeting with Mao, a tour of ‘The Four Directions’ of China, and numerous efforts towards a peaceful agreement with the invaders, in 1959 the Dalai Lama was forced to flee his country, in part at least to protect the masses of Tibetans who swarmed about him in the holy city. We learn about his final tortuous trek to safety through the mountains, pursued by Chinese troops, and the bittersweet arrival in India where news arrives of the tens of thousands slaughtered, and 6,000 desecrated monasteries back in Tibet.� Few world leaders have been as respected and revered as the 72-year-old ‘Kundun’ who in 1989 was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. ‘For despite the ongoing suffering of his people, he continues to remind the world that “hatred will not cease by hatred”.’ The Dalai Lama’s early life is vividly told here for younger readers. It is illustrated throughout with photographs, ink drawings and maps. Fiirst published June 2007.