dalai-lama-quotesThe Dalai Lama is the topmost leader of the Tibetan Buddhists. It combines 2 words — Dalai is ocean in Mongolian while Lama means guru or teacher in Tibetan. It is believed that when the Dalai Lama retires, he is reincarnated to another person. Traditionally, the next Dalai Lama is identified by the other High Lamas or the Tibetan government and is found within Tibet. It usually takes 2 to 3 years to find the next in line although the 14th Dalai Lama was not found until after 4 years. Though they are spiritual leaders, some of the Dalai Lamas of certain periods have been administrators of the government.

The 14th Dalai Lama is actually exiled and resides in India after a feared assassination attempt by Communist China in 1959. However, with Tibet still under Chinese occupation, the latest Dalai Lama has declared that he will not be reincarnated in Tibet while his country is not free. They are speculating that China will control the identification of the 15th Dalai Lama.

Basically, the Dalai Lama is a monk. As Dalai Lama, he is addressed as His Holiness. He claims to spend only 20% of his time for the administrative affairs of Tibet and the rest is spent for spiritual duties. A big chunk of His Holiness is spent on prayers, meditations and studying Buddhists texts written by Buddhist masters. This is possibly where the wisdom in his quotes comes from.

Famous Dalai Lama Quotes

Unlike the other previous Dalai Lamas, the current Dalai Lama has the advantage of the boom of communication and technology. Quotes attributed to him are easily transmitted and shared in both print and digital form.


“Compassion and tolerance are not a sign of weakness, but a sign of strength.”

“In the practice of tolerance, one’s enemy is the best teacher.”

“Sleep is the best meditation.”

“Be kind whenever possible.
It is always possible.”

“My religion is very simple.
My religion is kindness.”

“When you think everything is someone else’s fault, you will suffer a lot.
When you realize that everything springs only from yourself,
you will learn both peace and joy.”

“Nothing is permanent.”

“Once a year, go someplace you’ve never been before.”

“If you think you are too small to make a difference try sleeping with a mosquito.”

Dalai Lama Quotes on Life

This simple monk is able to see the basic necessities of life. Being exiled and without luxuries, he can meditate on the simple everyday essence of living. The typical urban dweller has much to learn from his quotations.


“Our prime purpose in this life is to help others.
And if you can’t help them, at least don’t hurt them.”

“It is far more useful to be aware of a single shortcoming in ourselves than it is to be aware of a thousand in somebody else. For when the fault is our own, we are in a position to correct it.”

“The very purpose of religion is to control yourself, not to criticize others. Rather, we must criticize ourselves. How much am I doing about my anger? About my attachment, about my hatred, about my pride, my jealousy? These are the things which we must check in daily life.”

“I believe that the very purpose of our life is to seek happiness. That is clear. Whether one believes in religion or not, where one believes in this religion or that religion, we all are seeking something better in life. So, I think, the very motion of our life is towards happiness…”

“Our purpose in life is to be happy.
From the very core of our being,
We simply desire contentment.”

“Life must be characterized by a sense of universal responsibility… nation to nation… human to human… human to others forms of life.”

“Kindness is the key to peace and harmony in family life.”

“It is necessary to combine knowledge born from study with sincere practice in our daily lives. These two must go together.”

Dalai Lama Quotes on Love

The quotes on love by the Dalai Lama do not refer much to love between two people. He tackles the love among human beings or the love of people for the world. It refers to the connection of each person to another and gains a deeper meaning when taken under the context of what Tibet has experienced under Chinese rule.


“Remember that the best relationship is one in which your love for each other exceeds your need for each other.”

“Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries.
Without them, humanity cannot survive.”

“Love and compassion are the pillars of world peace.”

“If you don’t love yourself, you cannot love others.
You will not be able to love others.
If you have no compassion for yourself then
You are not capable of developing compassion for others.”

“Love is the absence of judgment.”

“As human beings we all want to be happy and free from misery…
We have learned that the key to happiness is inner peace.
The greatest obstacles to inner peace are disturbing emotions
Such as anger, attachment, fear and suspicion,
While love and compassion and a sense of universal responsibility
Are the sources of peace and happiness.”

“All major religious traditions carry basically the same message,
That is love, compassion and forgiveness…
The important thing is they should be part of our daily lives.”

Dalai Lama Inspirational Quotes

The underlying optimism in his quotes can be quite contagious and becomes more poignant knowing what China has done in the past decades. Given the challenges and setbacks the Dalai Lama experienced along with the people of Tibet, there is much to learn from his inspirational quotes.


“No matter what sort of difficulties, how painful experience is, if we lose our hope, that’s our real disaster.”

“Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.”

“I am open to the guidance of synchronicity, and do not let expectations hinder my path.”

“I find hope in the darkest of days, and focus in the brightest.
I do not judge the universe.”

“Open your arms to change, but don’t let go of your values.”

“Judge success by what you had to give up in order to achieve it.”

“There is a saying in Tibetan, ‘Tragedy should be utilized as a source of strength.’

“Take into account that great love and great achievements involve great risk.”

“The more you nurture a feeling of kindness, the happier and calmer you will be.”

“See the positive side, the potential, and make an effort.”

Dalai Lama Quotes on Happiness

The common theme of his quotes on happiness acknowledges that it is being pursued by everyone. The irony is that happiness if found within themselves. This becomes more relevant when all the external experiences of a person points to despair and hopelessness.


“Happiness is not something ready made.
It comes from your own actions.”

“Human happiness and human satisfaction must ultimately come from within oneself. It is wrong to expect some final satisfaction to come from money or from a computer.”

“If you want others to be happy, practice compassion.
If you want to be happy, practice compassion.”

“Happiness mainly comes from our own attitude,
rather than from external factors.”

“Happiness comes through taming the mind.
Without taming the mind there is no way to be happy.”

“People take different roads seeking fulfillment and happiness.
Just because they’re not on your road doesn’t mean they’ve gotten lost.”

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