Here are 25 interesting facts about the Dalai Lama.

1-5 Dalai Lama Facts

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1. Unlike most Buddhist monks, the Dalai Lama is a meat eater. In the 1960s, he tried being vegetarian for a bit but had to give it up after he got sick with hepatitis. – Source

2. The Dalai Lama once told the American author John Perkins, “Don’t become a Buddhist. The world doesn’t need more Buddhists. Do practice compassion. The world needs more compassion.”

3. The Dalai Lama was on the CIA payroll ($180k/yr) from the late 1950’s to 1974. – Source

4. The Dalai Lama owns the smallest vineyard in the world, which is located in Switzerland. It consists of three vines and is 1.67 meters squared. – Source

5. The Dalai Lama supports abortion in cases where the child will be retarded or if the birth will create serious problems for the parent. – Source

6-10 Dalai Lama Facts

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6. Even though the Dalai Lama can’t swim, his greatest fear is being eaten by a shark. – Source

7. The Dalai Lama feels that the institution of the Dalai Lama has served its purpose and considers himself to be semi-retired. – Source

8. The 14th Dalai Lama (currently 81 Years old) will decide whether or not to reincarnate when he turns 90 – he could be the last Dalai Lama. – Source

9. The Dalai Lama searches & selects a Panchen Lama – the person responsible for finding the reincarnated Dalai Lama. The Panchen Lama was found in 1995, aged 6, and was subsequently kidnapped by the Chinese Government, replaced with a boy of their choosing, and never seen again. – Source

10. The Chinese government enacted a law forbidding the Dalai Lama to be reborn outside of China. – Source

11-15 Dalai Lama Facts

11. One of Dalai Lama’s hobbies is to repair watches. – Source

12. Despite the first Dalai Lama being born 622 years ago, only 14 people have ever held the title. – Source

13. The current Dalai Lama was selected for the role when he was only 2 years old, and formally recognized as the 14th Dalai Lama when he was 4. – Source

14. Martin Scorsese is banned from ever entering China, after making a pro-Dalai Lama movie in 1997. – Source

15. The Dalai Lama is a self-proclaimed Marxist communist. – Source

16-20 Dalai Lama Facts

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16. A Buddhist monk from Philadelphia was recognized by the Dalai Lama as a reincarnated Buddhist saint. – Source

17. The Dalai Lama sometimes lets mosquitoes bite him so that they can be happy for a little bit. – Source

18. Dalai Lama publicly posts his phone number on his Facebook profile. – Source

19. Displaying a photograph of the Dalai Lama, praying for his long life, wearing an amulet with his image or having his voice chanting mantras on a mobile ring tone is a subversive criminal act in China. – Source

20. The characters “Monk Gyatso” from Avatar: The Last Airbender and “Tenzin” from The Legend of Korra are both named after the same man; the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso. – Source

21-25 Dalai Lama Facts

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21. An SS Sergeant escaped from a British prison camp, settled in Tibet, stayed there for 7 years, rising to state prominence and becoming the Dalai Lama’s tutor. – Source

22. Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama has received 25+ honorary degrees, in addition to a Nobel Peace Prize and 70+ other awards and honorary citizenships. He has also written over 100 books. – Source

23. In the past, Tibetan Buddhists believed in the medicinal purposes of the Dalai Lama’s excrement and collected it in a golden pot. – Source

24. The Dalai Lama said, “If someone has a gun and is trying to kill you, it would be reasonable to shoot back with your own gun.” – Source

25. The personal protection escort and security adviser of the Dalai Lama in the 90’s was a ninja. – Source

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Fact List, People,

Last Update: December 13, 2016