Information about Gendün Druppa, 1st Dalai Lama

Gendün Druppa, 1st Dalai Lama (1391 - 1474)

Gendün Druppa (Tibetan: དགེ་འདུན་གྲུབ་པ།, Wylie: dge 'dun grub pa, 1391–1474) was considered posthumously to be the 1st Dalai Lama.

Gendün Druppa was born in a cowshed in Gyurmey Rupa near Sakya in the Tsang region of central Tibet, the son of Gonpo Dorje and Jomo Namkha Kyi, nomadic tribespeople. He was raised as a shepherd until the age of seven. His birth name (according to the Tibetan Buddhist Resource Center, his personal name) was Péma Dorje (Tibetan: པད་མ་རྡོ་རྗེ་, "Vajra Lotus"). Later he was placed in Narthang Monastery. In 1405, he took his śrāmaṇera (novitiate) vows from the abbot of Narthang, Khenchen Drupa Sherap.

Gendün Druppa founded the major monastery of Tashilhunpo at Shigatse, which later became the seat of the Panchen Lamas.

Gendün Druppa had no political power. It was in the hands of viceroys such as the Sakyas, the prince of Tsang, and the Mongolian Khagan. The political role of the Dalai Lamas only began with the reign of the 5th Dalai Lama.

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