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Dalai Lama, Fifth

In 1642, the Fifth Dalai Lama, Lobsang Gyatso, was enthroned as the spiritual and political leader of Tibet. In 1645, he oversaw the beginning of the construction of the Potala Palace, which took almost forty-three years to complete. It is one of the wonders of the world. The Fifth Dalai Lama was a great scholar who wrote many books on a wide variety of subjects. He established two educational institutions, one for lay officials and another for monk officials, where they were taught Mongolian, Sanskrit, astrology, poetry, and administration. He was a man of few words, but what he said carried conviction and influenced rulers beyond the borders of Tibet. Many still regard him not only as one of the greatest Tibetan leaders in history, yet also one of the most spiritually enlightened.