The 14th Dalai Lama, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize and spiritual leader of the Tibetans in exile, is well known in the West, but the 600-year tradition to which he is heir is less familiar. In this book, Glenn Mullin offers the life stories of all 14 Dalai Lamas in one volume for the first time. He has also included excerpts from their teachings, poetry, and other writings that illuminate the principles of Tibetan Buddhism. From the birth of the first Dalai Lama in 1391, each subsequent Dalai Lama has been the reincarnation of his predecessor, choosing to take up the burdens of a human life for the benefit of the Tibetan people. For almost six centuries, the Dalai Lamas have served as the Tibetans' spiritual leader and have held secular power for nearly half that time. The Dalai Lamas are revered as incarnations of Avalokiteshvara, the Buddhist embodiment of compassion, but each has been a unique individual with different abilities and temperament.