The Dalai Lama is a spiritual leader of Lamaism, or Tibetan Buddhism, and traditionally the political ruler of Tibet. The office originated in the 15th century. It is believed that when a Dalai Lama dies, his spirit is immediately reincarnated in a male baby. Buddhist lamas, or monks, search for this child throughout Tibet and in neighboring countries and determine his identity by an elaborate system of magical signs. The 14th Dalai Lama now resides in India, where he sought asylum after Tibet came under Communist Chinese control.