a title meaning "Ocean of Wisdom." The Dalai Lama is the spiritual and political leader of Tibet. Tenzin Gyatso is the fourteenth Dalai Lama
(Grand Lama) Mongolian dalai, "ocean" + Tibetan blama, "chief" or "high priest" -- the traditional high priest of Lamaism, a form of Buddhism practiced in Mongolia and Tibet, characterized by elaborate ritual and a strong hierarchal organization.
The title of the spiritual and temporal leader of Tibetan Buddhism. The current Dalai Lama (b. 1935), the 14th in a line traced back to the 16th century, fled Tibet in 1959. He lives in exile in India, travels widely, and was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989.