Himalayan Art Resources

Incarnation Lineage: Dalai Lama Main Page

Dalai Lama Main Page | Dalai Lama Outline Page

Subjects & Topics:
- Dalai Lama Incarnation Lineage Definition (below)
- Dalai Lama Outline Page
- Masterworks
- Painting Sets
- Potala Palace
- Potalaka Mountain Pureland
- Lhasa Cityscape Paintings
- Previous Incarnations (pre-Dalai)
- Incarnation Lineages
- Panchen Lama
- Desi Sanggye Gyatso
- Ganden Throne Holders
- Kadam Legbam
- Confusions
- Others...

Sonam Gyatso (1543-1588) was the first to bear the title Dalai Lama, a line of successively re-incarnating teachers in Tibetan Buddhism. Gedun Drub and Gedun Gyatso, referred to as the first and second Dalai Lamas, were posthumously recognized as his predecessors. It was the 5th Dalai Lama, also known as the Great 5th, Ngagwang Lobzang Gyatso (1617-1682) that unified Tibet once again and established the Ganden Podrang Government. The successive Dalai Lamas have been the acting or nominal Heads of State since the time of the Great 5th. Depictions of the Dalai Lamas can be recognized by the iconographic characteristics of a white lotus flower held in the right hand and a yellow Pandita hat. The yellow hat is an attribute also shared with Tsongkhapa, the founder of the Gelug Tradition, and with other Gelug teachers that followed. The white lotus flower is the principal attribute of the bodhisattva Lokeshvara.

1st Dalai Lama, Gendun Druba (1391-1474) Biographical details
2nd Dalai Lama, Gendun Gyatso (1476-1542) Biographical details
3rd Dalai Lama, Sonam Gyatso (1543-1588) Biographical details
4th Dalai Lama, Yontan Gyatso (1589-1617) Biographical details
5th Dalai Lama, Lobzang Gyatso (1617-1682) Biographical details
6th Dalai Lama, Tsangyang Gyatso (1683-1706/46) Biographical details
7th Dalai Lama, Kalzang Gyatso (1708-1757) Biographical details
8th Dalai Lama, Jampal Gyatso (1758-1804) Biographical details
9th Dalai Lama, Lungtog Gyatso (1805-1815) Biographical details
10th Dalai Lama, Tsultrim Gyatso (1816-1837) Biographical details
11th Dalai Lama, Kedrub Gyatso (1838-1855) Biographical details
12th Dalai Lama, Trinle Gyatso (1856-1875) Biographical details
13th Dalai Lama, Tubten Gyatso (1876-1933) Biographical details
14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso (b.1935) Biographical details

Jeff Watt 2-2002 [updated 4-2017]