The Potala Palace in Tibet was built in the 7th century.
Tibetans address the Dalai Lama as Gyalwa Rinpoche ("Precious Victor"), Kundun ("Presence"), Yishin Norbu ("Wish fulfilling Gem") among others, and His Holiness by Westerners. The 14th Dalai Lama (since 1950) retired March 14, 2011.
All Dalai Lamas are a reincarnation of the previous one. High Lamas have a vision by a dream or if the Dalai Lama was cremated, they will often monitor the direction of the smoke as an indication of the direction of the rebirth. Once the High Lamas have found the home and the boy they believe to be the reincarnation, the boy undergoes a series of tests to affirm the rebirth. They present a number of artifacts, only some of which belonged to the previous Dalai Lama, and if the boy chooses the items which belonged to the previous Dalai Lama. This is seen as a sign, in conjunction with all of the other indications, that the boy is the reincarnation.
Tenzin Gyatso, who was born born Lhamo Dondrub on July 6, 1935 has stated that he will not be reborn in the People's Republic of China and has also suggested he may not be reborn at all, suggesting the function of the Dalai Lama may be outdated. He said, "Naturally my next life is entirely up to me. No one else, and also this is not a political matter."