The current Dalai Lama, the 14th spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism, will receive a U.S. congressional gold medal Oct. 17 in a ceremony in the Capitol Rotunda in Washington, D.C.
President George W. Bush will present the medal in recognition of his contributions to peace, non-violence, human rights and religious understanding.
The medal?s obverse features a portrait of the Dalai Lama with the Himalayan Mountains in the background. It was designed by U.S. Mint sculptor-engraver Don Everhart. Inscriptions include ?14th Dalai Lama of Tibet? and ?Tenzin Gyatso,? his birth name. The medal was authorized Sept. 27, 2006, so the year 2006 also appears on the obverse.
On the reverse is a stylized lotus flower, which is a symbol of purity, and inscriptions include a quotation from the Dalai Lama, ?World peace must develop from inner peace. Peace is not the absence of violence. Peace is the manifestation of human compassion.? The reverse was designed by U.S. Mint medallic sculptor Joseph Menna.
Three-inch bronze duplicates of the medal may be purchased for $38 each, or half-inch versions for $3.75 each, at www.usmint.gov starting at 1 p.m. Eastern time Oct. 17, or by calling (800) USA-MINT (872-6468). Presentation cases are also available. Standard shipping charge of $4.95 per order will be applied.