Benefiting the World with His Divine Presence

Benefiting the World with His Divine Presence

Item Code: OR95
Oil on Canvas
23.8 inches X 31.8 inches
Dalai Lama, an epithet used for the first time in 1578 by the Mongol ruler Altan Khan for Sonam Gyatso, the Third Dalai Lama, is a combination of two terms, ‘Lama’ meaning a Buddhist monk, and ‘Dalai’, ocean-like profound, wide and deep, that is, the monk having ocean-like breadth and depth of knowledge. ‘Dalai’ was actually the Mongolian equivalent of ‘Gyatso’, a Tibetan term that emerged in use as an epithet during the lifetime of the second Dalai Lama, Gendun Gyatso, as the distinction of the Lamas in reincarnation lineage of the Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara. ‘Gyatso’ had the same meaning as ‘Dalai’.

Not merely that the Dalai Lama is the highest office of the present day Buddhism, it is also one of its three most significant institutions, the other two being the Buddha and the Bodhisattva, that emerged in Buddhism over centuries. Enlightenment is the attribute of them all, even of the Dalai Lama who, possessed of oceanic breadth and depth of knowledge, attains the same state of enlightenment as a bodhisattva.

The proper hierarchical order acclaims to have so far fourteen Dalai Lamas, the present one benefiting the world with his divine presence being the Fourteenth. Here the artist has brought out his joviality, an expression of his inner joy. It is well known that the Dalai Lama, in addition to his supreme erudition, also possesses a fine sense of humor. He wears his usual monastic robe, and a large pair of spectacles is balanced on the bridge of his nose. All in all, a charming portrayal of a delightful personality.

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