The Dalai Lama was on Thursday named as the winner of the prestigious Templeton Prize 2012 for his exceptional contribution to affirming life's spiritual dimension.
The exiled Tibetan spiritual leader has vigorously focused on the connections between the investigative traditions of science and Buddhism as a way to better understand and advance what both disciplines might offer the world, a release from the John Templeton Foundation said.
The $1.7 million prize will be presented to the Dalai Lama at the St Paul's Cathedral in London on May 14.
The Dalai Lama, 76, welcomed the announcement as the recognition of what he called "my little service to humanity". The Dalai Lama, who fled Lhasa in 1959 after a failed uprising against the Chinese rule in Tibet, now lives in exile in India.
The Templeton Prize honours a living person who has made an exceptional contribution to affirming life's spiritual dimension, whether through insight, discovery, or practical works.
Established in 1972 by the late Sir John Templeton, the Prize aims to identify "entrepreneurs of the spirit", outstanding individuals who have devoted their talents to expanding our vision of human purpose and ultimate reality.
The Prize celebrates no particular faith, tradition or notion of God, but rather the quest for progress in humanity's efforts to comprehend the many and diverse manifestations of the Divine.