Photojournalist Raghu Rai has been photographing the Dalai Lama since 1975. His lush black-and-white work, now collected in His Holiness: The Fourteenth Dalai Lama (Mandala Publishing, 2018), invites us into the spiritual leader’s unique life—from his massive public engagements to his intimate private moments.

dalai lama treats sick cat
The Dalai Lama treated his sick kitten with Tibetan herbal medicine.
Dalai Lama watering plants
The Dalai Lama in his greenhouse. “He grew the most beautiful flowers,” says photographer Raghu Rai.

“This willingness to understand and joyfully fulfill your needs, just as a close friend might, is what was so wonderful about him. He is a man who can be trusted.”
–Raghu Rai

Dalai Lama's shrine room
The Dalai Lama’s personal prayer room. The central statue was carried out of Tibet in the 1960s and reunited with His Holiness in India.
Dalai Lama giving blessings
The Dalai Lama gives blessings and prayers to students at a school for the blind in Mundgod Tibetan Settlement, Karnataka
The Dalai Lama relaxes under a blossoming tree in his garden.

Photographs © Raghu Rai, from His Holiness: The Fourteenth Dalai Lama (Mandala Publishing, 2018)

 

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