The 4th Dalai Lama
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The 4th Dalai Lama

Update: Feb. 20th, 2013

Sera Monastery

The 4th Dalai Lama – Brief Introduction

The 4th Dalai Lama was named Yundan Gyatso. He was born in 1589 during Ming Dynasty. He was the descendant of Altan Khan. His father's name's Sumir Taigye. His father's name's Baihannula. He was born in Tumo tribe in Inner Mongolia. He was the only one Mongolian Dalai Lama in Tibet Buddhism history. In 1602, he got back to Tibet and acted as the Great Master of Drepung Monastery and Sera Monastery. Emperor Wanli of Ming Dynasty ordered his officer to Tibet to confer him and present him the official seal.

The 4th Dalai Lama – Lifetime

Yundan Gyatso was the descendant of Altan Khan. After the death of the 3rd Dalai Lama, the Red Sect (Nyingma Sect) and the Yellow Sect (Gelug Sect) were still struggling. In order to get the support of Mongolians, the 3rd Dalai Lama claimed that he would reincarnate in Mongolia Region. Based on the prediction, the attendant of the 3rd Dalai Lama came to Mongolia and found the reincarnated soul boy. In 1592, Yundan Gyatso was officially confirmed as the reincarnated soul boy of the 3rd Dalai Lama by the representatives of local leader's, Drepung Monastery's and Sera Monastery's. In 1603, Yundan Gyatso was invited to Drepung Monastery and became the Great Master of this monastery. Afterwards he went to Jokhang Temple and learned a lot of Tibet Buddhist classic scriptures. In 1614, he took Panchen Lobsang Chökyi Gyaltsen and the Living Buddha – Sonam Gele Besang as his teacher. He finally died in Drepung Monastery when he was 28 years old.


The relationship between Mongolians and Tibetan lamas has been established since Sonam Gyatso got along with Altan Khan, and it has been promoted quickly in next 10 years. Sonam Gyatso was the 3rd Dalai Lama (The 3rd Dalai Lama History and The 3rd Dalai Lama Biography are recommended for your reference) and Altan Khan was the leader the most powerful Tumo Tribe in Mongolia Region. In 1589 the next year after the death of Sonam Gyatso, the descendant of Altan Khan was thought to be the reincarnation soul boy of Sonam Gyatso by Mongolian royal families and the monks of Gelug Sect. He was Yundan Gyatso. Yundan Gyatso was named after he got back to Inner Mongolia in 1592.


When Yundan Gyatso was 14 years old in 1602, he was officially invited to Tibet from Inner Mongolia. He was highly respected by people along the way and finally arrived in Tibet in 1603. People held a religious ceremony for him in Reting Monastery. Later on he went to Lhasa and stay in Drepung Monastery. He took Gendun Gyatsen as his teacher.


In 1607 he went to Tashilhunpo Monastery and learned the Buddhist scripture from Lobsang Chökyi Gyaltsen there. They got along with each other. After a week later he got back to Lhasa again. In 1614, Yundan Gyatso invited the 4th Panchen Erdeni to Drepung Monastery and took him as his teacher. Afterwards, he became the 13th Great Master of Drepung Monastery. In the mean time, he took charge of the 15th Great Master of Sera Monastery, too.

On 15th of December of 1616, Yundan Gyatso suddenly died in Drepung Monastery when he was only 28 years old.

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