07/06/2012 04:30 pm ET

The Dalai Lama Turns 77!

His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama has become known as one of the most influential spiritual leaders in the world. Born in Takster in Northern Tibet as Tenzin Gyatso, His Holiness was identified as the reincarnation of the 13th Dalai Lama by Buddhist officials when he was two. At 16 he came into power as the Head of State and Government in Tibet.

In 1959, the Dalai Lama was forced to escape to Dharamsala in India when the Chinese military invaded Tibet. He has been living in exile for over 50 years.

The Dalai Lama was recognized for his nonviolent approach to the liberation of Tibet and was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989. The self-proclaimed “simple Buddhist monk” has brought his wisdom and teachings to more than 62 countries since 1959.

In celebration of the Dalai Lama's 77th birthday, morning festivities will be held in Dharamsala at the main Tibetan Temple with evening events at the Institute of Tibetan Performing Art, which will include performances and prayers.

Read some of the Dalai Lama's most inspirational quotes and tweets in our slideshow below.

Happy Birthday, Dalai Lama!