Dalai Lama says he is last one in line

The Dalai Lama told German newspaper Welt am Sonntag in an interview that he sees no need for a successor to follow him. He told the paper:

“We had a Dalai Lama for almost five centuries. The 14th Dalai Lama now is very popular. Let us then finish with a popular Dalai Lama.”

The Dalai Lama as the head monk in Tibetan Buddhism is fairly recent in the scope of the religion of Buddhism. The current Dalai Lama is only the 14th in history and the first Dalai Lama was born in 1391.

Perhaps nobody has held the position with as much popularity and esteem as the current Dalai Lama, which is another reason he talked about for discontinuing the tradition.

“If a weak Dalai Lama comes along, then it will just disgrace the Dalai Lama,” he stated to the paper.

In addition to his position as the Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama plays a major role as the political voice of the Tibetan people, who have suffered decades of conflict with the Chinese government.

Although the search for a new Dalai Lama begins immediately after the death of the previous one, Tibetan Buddhism is characterized by a substantial network of lamas and monks who nurture education in the community, the Dalai Lama said.

“Tibetan Buddhism is not dependent on one individual. We have a very good organizational structure with highly trained monks and scholars.”

The Dalai Lama, who said he hopes to live to 113 years old, was born in 1935 and is identified as the reincarnation of the 13th Dalai Lama at the age of two. His entire life has been spent in the spiritual discipline of the role, with the last half century characterized by his exile from and political discord with the government of China.

At 79, the Dalai Lama told the newspaper that he hopes to reincarnate into the world after dying in order to continue his work with serving humanity.

“I hope and pray that I may return to this world as long as sentient beings’ suffering remains. I mean not in the same body, but with the same spirit and the same soul.”
If he is succeeded by a 15th incarnation, the Dalai Lama stated in 2013 that he would not be opposed to a woman successor and thought it could be the better option for Tibet.

“I think it would be good,” the Dalai Lama told an interviewer recently with Channel 4 News in London. “Now we are in the 21st century… Females have more potential regarding the promotion of human compassion.”