Dalai Lama holds the key to China's ambitions. For this extraordinary individual, who for almost his entire life has been the spiritual leader of his people, holds his country's destiny - and with it China's prestige - in his hands. But who is the Dalai Lama? What is the secret of his allure and his immense moral authority? Instantly recognizable by millions, his personality yet remains elusive. Longstanding exile, religious mentor, accomplished writer and skilful diplomat, his many guises seem only to add to his mystique. In a thoroughly researched and richly anecdotal biography, Mayank Chhaya strips away the multiple layers of the Dalai Lama's personality. He reveals the man behaIf Tibet is the stubborn weak link in China's drive for recognition and respect as a world superpower, then the ind the public face and, based on many exclusive personal interviews, uncovers the hidden contexts which have shaped his subject's beliefs, politics and ideals. The result is a compelling profile of the god-like figure who, at the age of two, was revealed to the world as the reincarnation of his predecessor before becoming one of the era's most romantic political celebrities.
Crucially, the author assesses how the current unrest in Tibet will determine China's long-term future and sheds fresh light on a dangerous and simmering relationship. The book will be essential reading for anyone who follows world affairs, for those with an interest in the explosive interaction between religion and politics in contemporary Buddhism and spirituality, and for those who are irresistibly drawn to the mesmorising figure that is the Dalai Lama himself.
Mayank Chhaya has been a journalist for the past 25 years, during which period he has reported extensively on India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and the United States. He is a commentator on South Asian affairs for the New Delhi-based Indo-Asian News Servive, and also runs the news and current affairs website www.dailysub.com. He lives in Chicago.