Although he describes himself as a simple Buddhist monk, the Dalai Lama has been called one of the world's most influential people. Followers believe he is the manifestation of Avalokiteshvara Bodhisattva, the enlightened Buddha of compassion. He has been living in exile since 1959, but he travels the world with a message of tolerance and peace and is arguably the most visible symbol of Tibet's struggle for autonomy.
STEVEN SIEWERT/Sydney Morning Herald/Getty Images

The Dalai Lama: Tibet's spiritual leader

Updated 12:46 PM ET, Thu April 11, 2019

Although he describes himself as a simple Buddhist monk, the Dalai Lama has been called one of the world's most influential people. Followers believe he is the manifestation of Avalokiteshvara Bodhisattva, the enlightened Buddha of compassion. He has been living in exile since 1959, but he travels the world with a message of tolerance and peace and is arguably the most visible symbol of Tibet's struggle for autonomy.
STEVEN SIEWERT/Sydney Morning Herald/Getty Images

Although he describes himself as a simple Buddhist monk, the