Gendun Gyatsho

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Tibetan name
Tibetan script :
དགེ་ འདུན་ རྒྱ་ མཚོ
Wylie transliteration :
dge 'dun rgya mtsho
Pronunciation in IPA :
[ kentỹ catsʰɔ ]
Official transcription of the PRCh :
Gêndün Gyaco
THDL transcription :
Gendun Gyatsho
Other spellings:
Gendun Gyatso, Gedun Gyatsho
Chinese name
Traditional :
根 敦嘉 措
Simplified :
根 敦嘉 措
Pinyin :
Gēndūn Jiācuò

Gendün Gyatsho ( December 31, 1475 in Tanak, Ngamring County - May 23, 1542 in Drepung ) was the second Dalai Lama .


The evidence of the discovery history and childhood of Gendün Gyatsho was not recorded in detail until the 17th century by Sanggye Gyatsho , the regent of the fifth Dalai Lama, in one of his works and passed on to posterity. After that, he was the son of the famous Nyingma - tantric Dorje Chang Kunga Gyeltshen and Yogini Macig Künga Pelmo, who called him "Sanggye Pel". It was clear to both his parents and the little boy that he was the reincarnation of Gendün Drub .

When after a few years the superiors of the Trashilhünpo monastery began to look for an incarnation of the deceased Gyelwa , they noticed the boy and invited him and his parents to visit the monastery. The lamas of the monastery put Sanggye Pel through a series of tests, which he passed without exception. Thereupon he was recognized by them as the reincarnation of Gyelwa Gendün Drub, but at the request of his parents he initially returned with them to his hometown. There Sanggye Pel received a number of Buddhist traditions and initiations from his father.

At the age of eleven, the boy followed the invitation to move to Trashilhünpo and to take on his responsibility as the reincarnation of Gyelwa Gendün Drub. On July 5, 1486 he was ordained a novice and was given the name "Gendün Gyatsho", under which he became known from then on. This was followed by his ordination as a novice monk and numerous other initiations. After the age of 16 he perfected his knowledge and studies in Drepung Monastery . There, among other things, the writings of Tsongkhapa , who founded and directed the school of the Gelug order, were available to him.

After completing his ordinations and a period of meditation, he began teaching and, like Gendün Drub, began extensive trips to other monasteries of the Gelug Order from 1498 onwards. In 1509 he founded 150km southeast of Lhasa at Mystic Lake Lhamo La-tso near the village Metok-Tang , the monastery Chökhorgyel . This became just as important as Trashilhünpo. Since the lake is able to give signs pointing into the future, all those who have been commissioned to find a reincarnation of the Dalai Lama have since then made a pilgrimage to this lake in order to obtain clues for the search.

In 1517 Gendün Gyatsho returned from his travels to Drepung and had a palace built there for himself and his successors. This served the fifth Dalai Lama under the name Ganden Phodrang as the seat of government.

Gendün Gyatsho introduced the Trülku system for all important Gelugpa monasteries. This prevented succession disputes in the replacement of vacant management positions in favor of the search for an incarnation.

Towards the end of his life, he still ordered the office of administrator (tib .: sde pa ; Depa) to be introduced so that the administration of the religious order would no longer have to suffer from the Gyelwa's long journeys as before. The Depa was supposed to take the position of a regent as an absentee representative.

Gendün Gyatsho died in 1542. His successor, Sönam Gyatsho , who was recognized as reincarnation, was given the title of “Dalai Lama” by the Mongolian ruler Altan Khan in 1578 for the first time. As a result, Gendün Gyatsho was posthumously declared Dalai Lama.


  • Glenn H. Mullin: The Crazy Sage on Tibet's Royal Throne. Mystical verses and visions of the Second Dalai Lama . OW Barth bei Scherz, Frankfurt am Main 2004, ISBN 3-502-61119-X
  • 2nd Dalai Lama. Tantric Yogas of Sister Niguma , Snow Lion Publications, 1st ed. U. edition (May 1985), ISBN 0-937938-28-9 .


Web links

Commons : Gendün Gyatsho  - collection of images, videos and audio files
Gendün Gyatsho (alternative names of the lemma)
Gendün Gyatso, Gendun Gyatso, Gedun Gyatsho, chin .: 根 敦嘉 措, Gēndūn Jiācuò