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Dalai Lama Celebrates 79th Birthday: A Look At The Buddhist Leader Through The Years

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His Holiness the Dalai Lama turns 79 on July 6, 2014, and HuffPost Religion celebrates by taking a look his life through the years.

The Dalai Lama was born Lhamo Dhondup on July 6, 1935 to a farming family in northeastern Tibet. Buddhist leaders identified him as the reincarnation of the 13th Dalai Lama when he was just two years old. At age six, he began monastic education and at 15 assumed political power in Tibet following China's invasion.

He has lived in exile from Tibet since 1959 but uses his position as the Tibetan leader to travel around the world promoting a message of peace.

As we celebrate the Dalai Lama's life for his birthday, consider what His Holiness has to say about the gift of life:

Every day, think as you wake up, today I am fortunate to be alive, I have a precious human life, I am not going to waste it. I am going to use all my energies to develop myself, to expand my heart out to others; to achieve enlightenment for the benefit of all beings. I am going to have kind thoughts towards others, I am not going to get angry or think badly about others. I am going to benefit others as much as I can.

Here is a look at His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama through the years:

  • Kanwal Kirshna / AFP / Getty Images
    This undated picture shows a painting by Kanwal Krishna dated probably in 1930s of a young Dalai Lama (Tenzin Gyatso, born in 1935), the traditional religious and temporal head of Tibet's Buddhist clergy.
  • FPG / Archive Photos / Getty Images
    A speech by the 14th Dalai Lama, circa 1955.
  • Getty Images
    Jan. 21, 1957 at Palace Ground square, Kolkata, India: the Dalai Lama gives his blessing to a crowd gathered for a farewell ceremony.
  • Hulton Archive / Getty Images
    1959: His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, seated on his throne and wearing the gold peaked cap which is his crown, smiles while giving an audience in Lhasa, Tibet. An assistant monk stands at his side.
  • Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images
    The Dalai Lama poses for a photo in October 1967 in India.
  • Getty Images
    In 1973, the Dalai Lama visited the SOS Children's Village of Hinterbrühl in Austria. In the photo, he stands by Hermann Gmeiner, the founder of SOS Children's Villages.
  • Ernst Haas / Getty Images
    Feb. 1974: the Dalai Lama officiates at the Kalachakra Initiation Ceremony held in Bodh Gaya (place of the Buddha) in the state of Bihar in northeastern India.
  • Gerry Penny / AFP / Getty Images
    The Dalai Lama poses with his wax portrait in the Grand Hall at Madame Tussaud's in November 1993 in London. The Dalai Lama brought a pair of his own glasses for the model on his one-day visit to London.
  • Steve Granitz / WireImage
    The Dalai Lama at the Simon Wiesenthal Museum of Tolerance in Beverly Hills, California on Aug. 2, 1996.
  • Michael Smith / Getty Images
    The Dalai Lama greets the media on Capitol Hill before meeting with congressional leaders on June 20, 2000 in Washington.
  • David McNew / Getty Images
    The Dalai Lama appears at the University of California Los Angeles to give a public teaching May 26, 2001.
  • Robert Patterson / Getty Images
    The Dalai Lama takes part in a Hongi, a traditional Māori greeting in New Zealand, on on May 27, 2002.
  • Mehmet Kaman / Anadolu Agency / Getty Images
    The Dalai Lama speaks during a press conference while visiting Frankfurt, Germany.

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Happy Birthday, Dalai Lama!
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