Sonam Gyatso, 3rd Dalai Lama

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Sonam Gyatso (Tibetan: བསོད་ནམས་རྒྱ་མཚོ་Wylie: bsod nams rgya mtsho; ZWPY: Soinam Gyaco) (1543–1588) was the first officially recognized Dalai Lama, although the title was retrospectively given to his two predecessors.

He was born near Lhasa in 1543 and was recognised as the reincarnation of Gendun Gyatso[1] and subsequently enthroned at Drepung Monastery by Panchen Sonam Dragpa, who became his tutor. Panchen Sonam Dragpa was the 15th Ganden Tripa and his texts still serve as the core curriculum for many Gelugpa monasteries. The third Dalai Lama studied at Drepung Monastery and became its abbot. His reputation spread quickly and the monks at Sera Monastery also recognised him as their abbot.[2]

According to Sumpa Khenpo, the great Gelug scholar, he also studied some Nyingmapa tantric doctrines.[3]

When one of Tibet's kings, who had been supported by the Kagyupa, died in 1564, Sonam Gyatso presided over his funeral. His political power, and that of the Gelugpas, became dominant in Tibet by the 1570s.[2]

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