The Dalai Lama is regarded by Tibetans as one of a succession of incarnations of the Bodhisattva of compassion, Chenrezig ("the Seeing-Eye" Lord), who long has been considered to be the patron deity of Tibet. The current Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso is the 14th incarnation of Chenrezig, and is both the head of state of Tibet and the spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism . His Holiness has lived in exile in Dharamsala, which is located in northern India, since 1950. Dharamsala has been the seat of the Tibetan political administration since the Chinese invasion of Tibet in 1949.
In 1989 he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his non-violent struggle for the liberation of Tibet. He has consistently advocated policies of non-violence, even in the face of extreme aggression. He also became the first Nobel Laureate to be recognized for his concern for global environmental problems.