MOSCOW, December 18 (Sputnik) – The current Tibetan spiritual leader may be the last one to hold the title of Dalai Lama; the spiritual line, dating back to the 15th century, may be coming to its end, the Dalai Lama said in an interview with BBC’s Newsnight program.
"The Dalai Lama institution will cease one day. These man-made institutions will cease," the exiled leader told the BBC during a visit to Rome for the 14th World Summit of Nobel Laureates.
"There is no guarantee that some stupid Dalai Lama won't come next, who will disgrace himself or herself. That would be very sad. So, much better that a centuries-old tradition should cease at the time of a quite popular Dalai Lama," the Nobel Peace Prize winner added, laughing.
The Dalai Lama believes that it is "up to the Tibetan people" to decide whether he will have a successor. Buddhists believe that the soul of their spiritual leader will be reincarnated in a child after the death of the current Dalai Lama.
The Dalai Lama is no longer the head of the Tibetan government, handing handed over political responsibilities to an elected leader, Lobsang Sangay, in 2011. The Dalai Lama, 79, fled Tibet in 1959.
China has repeatedly stated that the institution has to be preserved. However, Beijing wants to name the next person to hold the title of the Dalai Lama. "Chinese officials are more concerned about the future Dalai Lama than me," the exiled spiritual leader told France 24, adding he has "no concern."