Who Are Some of the Buddhist Religious Leaders?

Contemporary Buddhist leaders include the Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, Ven. Bhikkuni Kusuma and Bhikkhu Bodhi. Born in 1935, the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet is arguably the most famous among them.

The Dalai Lama has won a Nobel Peace Prize (1989) and the U.S. Congressional Medal of Honor (2007).

Other Buddhist religious leaders are found across the globe.

  • The Ven. Bhikkhuni Kusuma of Sri Lanka, who pioneered the re-establishment of the female Bhukkhuni Buddhist order, inspired by Ayya Khema (1923 to 1997) was born to Jewish parents in Germany. Ayya Khema revived the Bhukkhuni order as one of the first Western women ordained as a nun.
  • Bhikkku Bodhi, born Jeffrey Block in Brooklyn, NY, a Buddhist monk, scholar and translator who has given addresses to the United Nations